Husband's/partner's support for family planning may influence a women's modern contraceptive use. Socio-demographic factors, couple communication about family planning, and fertility preferences are known to play a role in contraceptive use. We conducted logistic regression analysis to investigate the relationship between perceived husband's/partner's approval and husband's/partner's encouragement of modern contraceptive use, adjusting for socio-demographic factors and recent couple communication about family planning. We also examined mediating roles potentially played by perceived contraceptive accessibility and contraceptive self-efficacy (using index created by principal component analysis). Perceived husband's/partner's approval was associated with triple the odds of women's modern contraceptive use and remained significantly associated with 1.6 times the odds, after controlling for contraceptive accessibility and contraceptive self-efficacy. Husband's/partner's encouragement, while initially significantly associated with contraceptive use, became non-significant after adjustments for socio-demographic factors and couple communication. Perceived husband's/partner's approval, separate from a woman's sense of self-efficacy and perceived accessibility of contraceptives, appears strongly and positively associated with current modern contraceptive use. Increased couple communication may help women identify their husband's/partner's approval. Difference between the meaning of approval and encouragement should be explored. Interventions involving information education and communication campaigns geared to men and promoting male involvement in family planning could increase contraceptive prevalence.
Keywords: Contraception; approval; encouragement; male involvement; sub-Saharan Africa.