A socio-ecological approach for examining factors related to contraceptive use among recent Latina immigrants in an emerging Latino state

Academic Article


  • Using the Social Ecological Model, the individual, partner, social, and structural factors related to recent Latina immigrants’ contraceptive use in an emerging immigrant community were explored. During September 2013–January 2014, door-to-door sampling was used in Birmingham, Alabama to recruit Latina immigrants who had lived in the United States (U.S.) for less than 5 years. Ten women with foreign-born children and 10 with only U.S.-born children completed in-depth interviews about their contraceptive use following migration. Women’s narratives revealed interrelated barriers to using highly effective contraception after migrating to the U.S. Women had nuanced concerns about using hormonal contraception, which, when combined with other factors, led them to rely on condoms and withdrawal. Limited partner communication was a barrier to effective method use for some women, but partner attitudes that women should be responsible for contraception were less important. Weak female networks made it difficult for immigrants to learn about the U.S. health-care system, especially those with only U.S.-born children. Even once women accessed services, a full range of highly effective methods was not available or affordable. In emerging communities, integrated strategies that address immigrants’ need for information and ensure access to affordable contraception would help women achieve their reproductive life goals.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • White K; Ocampo M; Scarinci IC
  • Start Page

  • 872
  • End Page

  • 889
  • Volume

  • 57
  • Issue

  • 7