Family network and contraceptive behaviour among Indian women

Madhumita Das, Independant Researcher

Couples’ decision regarding use of contraceptive methods is influenced by a host of factors that have been researched extensively worldwide, but little work on family networks’ influence on demographic behaviour of individual have been found. This paper examines the hypothesis that the decision of younger women on using contraception or type of method they should use is greatly influenced by the contraceptive use status of a co-resident elder member in the same familial network. Data are prepared from India-DHS 1998-99 individual flat files. Preliminary results suggest that our null hypothesis is true. When the age gap is less than 6 years, and the elder woman in the family is not using contraceptives 23 percent of the younger women is using, but that increases to 47 percent when the elder woman is also using. The influence is much less when the relation is of mother-daughter or mother-in-law-daughter-in-law rather than of sisters-in-laws.

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Presented in Poster Session 2