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Young Men’s Communication With Partners and Contraception Use: A Systematic Review

Lalas, Jolene Ruth

The rate of adolescent unintended pregnancy in the United States is high compared to other developed countries. While past research and interventions have largely focused on young women, the role of young men in pregnancy prevention has increasingly been recognized. Studies have assessed young men’s knowledge and attitudes toward pregnancy prevention as well as their role in male-controlled methods of birth control like condoms or withdrawal. However, less is known about how young men can contribute to or participate in decision-making with female partners about contraception other than condoms. The purpose of this systematic review was to explore how young men communicate with their partners and its impact on contraception use to prevent pregnancy. A systematic review of five databases was conducted to identify English-language articles published from January 1, 2002, through July 7, 2018. The review specifically explored how male partner communication affects female partner use of contraception other than condoms among young men ages 11-24 years. The systematic review explored additional questions, including those pertaining to the timing of partner communication in a relationship, strategies employed by young men, and which dynamics of partner communication are measured in studies. Of the 15 articles identified as exploring areas of communication, five of the articles used quantitative analysis to measure any association between partner communication and contraception use, and three of those produced statistically significant findings suggesting that communication increases the use of contraception other than condoms. Three qualitative studies provided supporting narratives of how young men have communicated with partners and influenced their contraception use with female partners. The remaining seven articles explored the other research questions of timing, strategies, and dynamics identifying topics, prompts, and communication cues among young men. Measurements of both communication and contraception varied across studies. With the small number of studies identified in this systematic review, it is recommended that future research seek to corroborate the relationship between partner communication and contraception use with more robust and precise measurements of both communication and contraception.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Health and Behavior Studies
Thesis Advisors
Allegrante, John P.
Degree
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
August 27, 2019
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