An Exploratory Study of Acculturation and Reproductive Health Among Haitian and Haitian-American Women in Little Haiti, South Florida

J Immigr Minor Health. 2016 Jun;18(3):666-672. doi: 10.1007/s10903-015-0235-8.


There is unmet contraceptive need among Haitian immigrants and Haitian-American women (Haitian women). The study explored associations of three measures of acculturation with contraceptive/reproductive health history among Haitian women residing in the Little Haiti community of Miami. This was a cross-sectional, exploratory study among 57 Haitian women. We conducted descriptive univariate analyses, then bivariate analyses to investigate the association of acculturation with reproductive health risk behavior including contraceptive use, tampon use, and parity, as well as interest in a female-initiated barrier contraceptive method. The most commonly ever-used contraceptive methods were male condoms (78.9 %) and oral contraceptives (OC 19.3 %). Women who primarily spoke Créole at home were less likely than those who did not to use OC (11.9 vs. 42.9 %, p = .01). Among women who resided in the U.S. ≥10 years, tampon use was 51.9 % compared to 16.7 % among those who were in the U.S. for less time (p = .005). Among U.S. born women, 60 % were tampon users compared to 22.7 % among those born in Haiti (p = .05). Women not speaking primarily Créole at home (p = .06) and those born in U.S. (p = .008) had fewer children. Contraceptive use was low among Haitian women but influenced by acculturation, where greater acculturation was associated with protective reproductive health behavior. Despite traditional norms discouraging contraceptive use, and little experience with female barriers, Haitian women indicated an interest in learning about and using a female-initiated barrier contraceptive. Increasing contraceptive uptake of potential multipurpose technologies is a potential point of intervention for decreasing HIV/STI transmission in this at-risk population.

Keywords: Acculturation; Contraception; Female barrier methods; Femcap™; Haitian; Women.

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraception / methods
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Haiti / ethnology
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Middle Aged
  • Parity
  • Reproductive Health / ethnology*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Young Adult