The Effects of Acculturation on Contraceptive Use among Mexican Immigrants

Ellen K. Wilson, Research Triangle Institute

Although numerous studies have addressed the relationship between the acculturation of Mexican immigrants health behaviors and outcomes, little research to date has explored the effects of acculturation on contraceptive use. This study uses the National Survey of Family Growth Cycle 5 to explore the effects of acculturation on the likelihood that women of Mexican origin in the U.S. use contraception and to identify mediating variables through which acculturation effects these changes. I employ logit techniques analogous to discrete-time hazard models with women-months as the unit of analysis. Findings suggest that first generation women are overall more likely to use contraception than women of later generations, but when differences in age and parity are controlled, they are actually less likely to use contraception. Education, poverty and work partially mediate the effects of acculturation, but first generation women remain less likely to use contraception even when these factors are controlled.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Fertility, Family Planning, Unions, and Sexual Behavior