A Path Analysis of Factors Influencing the First Childbearing Decision-Making in Women in Shahroud in 2014.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES Normal fertility follows a set of biological, social and cultural rules and regulations; controlled fertility, however, follows the rules and regulations of the family. The present study was therefore conducted to identify the factors influencing the first childbearing decision-making in women living in Shahroud, Iran, in 2014. MATERIALS & METHODS The present descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted on 300 randomly-selected pregnant women admitted to health centers in Shahroud. The utilized data collection tools included a demographic and obstetrics questionnaire, a quality of life questionnaire, the ENRICH Marital Satisfaction Scale, the Snyder Hope Scale and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Data were analyzed in SPSS-17 and the direct or inverse effects of the factors influencing the first childbearing decision-making were examined in AMOS-20. RESULTS The results obtained revealed marital age to have the highest degree of correlation with the first childbearing decision-making in women (r=0.90 and P<0.001).Once the statistically insignificant paths were eliminated, marital age was found to have the highest direct effect (β=0.63) on the first childbearing decision-making, followed by other factors including economic status (β=0.07), hopefulness (β=-0.07) and quality of life (β=-0.05). The inverse effects of marital age (β=0.01), social support (β= -0.01) and quality of life (β=-0.01) on the first childbearing decision-making were found to be significant in women (P<0.001). CONCLUSION Many factors are involved in the process of childbearing decision-making, including individual factors (marital age, hopefulness and quality of life), familial factors (marital satisfaction) and social factors (social support). Healthcare institutions and policymakers should adopt strategies that can help couples bear their desired number of children within an appropriate time frame through ameliorating their social, economic and familial conditions.

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