The concept of pregnancy intendedness is complex and may not bear the same meaning to all women. Moreover, researcher definition and women’s meaning were thought to be different. Some researchers have indicated that it is unclear how well women understand and relate to questions used by the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) and how the classifications relate to women’s lives. The purpose of this study was to explore the meaning of terms such as planned and/or intended pregnancy among African-American women of childbearing age using a qualitative exploratory descriptive method. Although African-American women want children, they are three times as likely to experience an unintended pregnancy as white women. Data extracted from transcripts were coded and analyzed for recurrent patterns and themes. For this study, the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980) was employed to frame interview questions and to interpret data. Findings suggest participants and partners often did not have the same perceptions or meanings of pregnancy planning or intentions. These findings have implications for research and family planning policy.


Meaning of Pregnancy Terms, Africa-American Mothers, Pregnancy Intendedness

Author Bio(s)

Stephanie Solomon, DrPH, MSN, RN is an associate professor of nursing at Tallahassee Community College in Tallahassee, Florida (2012-present). Dr. Solomon’s career in nursing began in 1993. Most of her nursing experience has been in public health (11 years) which lead to her pursuing the doctorate in public health at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. Dr. Solomon has been a nursing instructor since 2010. She would like to further her research experience in understanding what motivates people to make health and lifestyle decisions. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: solomonstephanie@bellsouth.net.

Sandra Suther, PhD is a professor in Economic, Social & Administrative Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Florida A&M University. She has a background in Medical Anthropology and Health Education Dr. Suther’s research includes racial and ethnic disparities in knowledge regarding genomic technology as well as concerns about misuse of genetic testing, confidentiality, and distrust in the medical system. Additional areas of interest include disparities in maternal and infant health, cultural competency in the health care system, and evaluation of health programs and projects. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: sandra.suther@famu.edu.

Ivette Amelia López, PhD, MPH is an associate professor of Behavioral Science and Health Education in the Institute of Public Health at Florida A&M University. She is also the Director of the Latino Initiative for Better Health Research and Education of the FAMU Center for Health Equity, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Her areas of interest include: Latino health, Latina and African American women’s health, community organizing to address health inequities, cultural and community influences on health protective behaviors, community-based participatory research, health literacy, and racial and ethnic disparities in higher education. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: ivette.lopez@famu.edu.

Alicestine Ashford, Ed.D, MPH is the associate director and assistant professor of Health Policy and Management in the Institute of Public Health, College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences at Florida A&M University. Dr. Ashford’s expertise is Health Administration and Health Policy. Her primary research interest is the relationship of national insurance, including the Affordable Care Act to Primary Care and Medical Home in the receipt of treatment and services for the Uninsured and the Underinsured with chronic diseases and infectious diseases. Dr. Ashford is especially interested in health access, health care quality, and the social, economic issues impacting U.S. healthcare. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: alicestine.ashford@famu.edu.

Linda Amankwaa, PhD, RN is an associate professor at Albany State University, Georgia. She completed the doctorate in nursing at Georgia State University. Nursing over thirty-five years, Dr. Amankwaa’s career focused on women’s health within hospitals, a private doctor office, an HMO, and private clinics; finally, she settled in nursing education. Her memberships span many organizations such as American Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau, International, and Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, Capital Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, and Bethel AME Church Tallahassee. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: linda.amankwaa@asurams.edu.

Gareth Dutton, PhD, is an associate professor of Medicine in the University of Alabama (UAB) at Birmingham, Division of Preventive Medicine. Prior to joining UAB in 2011, Dr. Dutton was in the Department of Medical Humanities and Social Sciences at the Florida State University College of Medicine. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Behavioral Medicine from Louisiana State University. Dr. Dutton’s research is focused on the development and evaluation of lifestyle interventions for weight loss and weight loss maintenance. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: gdutton@uab.edu.

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