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01.12.2019 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Reproductive Health 1/2019

A qualitative assessment of perspectives on getting pregnant: the Social Position and Family Formation study

Reproductive Health > Ausgabe 1/2019
Meredith G. Manze, Dana Watnick, Diana Romero
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Intentions-oriented approaches to measuring pregnancy do not necessarily align with how people view and approach pregnancy. Our objective was to obtain an in-depth understanding of the notions women and men hold regarding pregnancy.


We conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with 176 heterosexual women and men ages 18–35, in the United States. Data were analyzed using grounded theory methodology.


Participants described notions of getting pregnant in one of three ways. One group of participants used language that solely described pregnancy as a deliberate process, either premeditated or actively avoided. Another described pregnancy as a predetermined phenomenon, due to fate or something that ‘just happens.’ The third group represented a blending of both notions.


Our findings underscore the need to shift the current paradigm of deliberate intentions to one that recognizes that pregnancy can also be viewed as predetermined. These findings can be used to improve measurement, health services, and better direct public health resources.
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