Ambivalent childbearing motivations: predicting condom use by urban, African-American, female youth

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2014 Jun;27(3):151-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2013.09.009. Epub 2014 Mar 12.


Study objective: To describe a model of how interactions between positive and negative childbearing motivations affect the use of condoms for contraceptive purposes and test hypotheses based on that model.

Design: Psychological and behavioral data were collected during a study that sampled randomly selected census block groups.

Setting: Respondents were household residents of Baltimore City, Maryland, between 2004 and 2007.

Participants: English-speaking, sexually active African-American women between the ages of 15 and 24 who had completed a reliable and valid measure of both positive and negative childbearing motivations.

Main outcome measures: Regularity of condom use during the past 90 days and contraceptive method at last sex.

Results: The results of regression analyses with the total sample confirm that antinatal childbearing motivations predicted more regular condom use and that ambivalent, pronatal, and indifferent childbearing motivations acting together each predicted less regular condom use. The results with a subgroup using condom and not hormonal contraception confirmed that ambivalent childbearing motivation alone predicted less regular condom use.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate how positive and negative childbearing motivations interact to create a dynamic effect on contraceptive behavior that transcends the effect of either positive or negative motivation acting alone. We conclude that the dynamics of these motivational interactions have important implications for further research on contraceptive decision-making, for augmenting the understanding of caretakers and providers, and for the formation of new policies that focus on the prevention of unplanned pregnancy among youth.

Keywords: Ambivalent motivation; Antinatal motivation; Childbearing motivation; Indifferent motivation; Irregular condom use; Motivational dynamics; Pronatal motivation; Risk of pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Baltimore
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Contraception / methods
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data*
  • Contraception Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological
  • Motivation*
  • Pregnancy / psychology
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult