Relative Contribution of Intrapersonal and Partner Factors to Contraceptive Behavior Among Taiwanese Female Adolescents

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Abstract

Purpose

To explore the relative contribution of intrapersonal factors (demographic data, sexual history, and self-efficacy for contraception) and partner factors (perceptions of support from sexual partners for contraception, and relationship power) to contraceptive behaviors among sexually active female adolescents in Taiwan.

Design

A cross-sectional design. Female adolescents who have had a steady male sexual partner in the past 3 months (N= 375) were recruited as participants.

Methods

Questionnaires including demographic data, sexual history, contraceptive behavior, self-efficacy for contraception, perceptions of support from sexual partner for contraception, and perceptions of relationship power were submitted anonymously for this study.

Findings

Participants who had their first sexual experience at less than 14 years of age and were from one-parent families had the least comprehensive contraceptive behavior than did other participants. Number of steady sexual partners was significantly negatively correlated with contraceptive behavior. Self-efficacy, perceptions of support from sexual partner for contraception, and relationship power all were positively correlated with contraceptive behavior. The important explanatory variables of contraceptive behavior were self-efficacy, age of first sexual intercourse, intervals between sexual intercourse, and perceptions of support from sexual partner for contraception. These accounted for 39.1% of variance in contraceptive behavior.

Conclusions

Intrapersonal factors (self-efficacy, age of first sexual intercourse, and intervals between sexual intercourse) were more important than were partner factors (perceptions of support from sexual partners for contraception and relationship power) in influencing contraceptive behavior among sexually active female adolescents in Taiwan.

Clinical Relevance

Intervention to increase contraceptive behavior among female adolescents should be focused more on intrapersonal factors than on partner factors.

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