A Longitudinal Study of Success versus Failure in Contraceptive Planning

Student Co-author

CGU Graduate

Document Type



Behavioral and Organizational Sciences (CGU)

Publication Date



This longitudinal predictive research on the success or failure of contraceptive planning studied new birth-control patients in four Los Angeles suburban-area Planned Parenthood clinics. Over an eight-month period 646 Research Group subjects were identified for later comparisons. The data included interviews, tests, questionnaires, and archival and demographic information, focusing particularly on personality, attitude and motivation variables. Based on a one-year follow-up of teh patients, the criteria of "successful contraception" included timeliness of clinic return visits, clinic retention, and lack of unwanted pregnancy. Results showed a marked decrease in clinic retention over time, but a significantly lower attrition rate for the Research Group than for the Control Group, indicating the value of follow-up efforts in reducing patient loss. The criterion behaviors were difficult to predict, but measures of sexual knowledge, future-time perspective, and interview questions were the most successful predictors (clearly better than the demographic variables). Two extreme subgroups, a Regular Return Group and an Unwanted Pregnancy Group, were discriminated by a number of variables. The results show linkages between poor socialization, short future-time perspectives, and failure in contraception.

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© 1978 American Psychological Association

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