Understanding Minority Fertility: Contraceptive Use among First Generation Mexican Immigrant Couples in Houston, Texas, and San Diego, California

Caroline L. Faulkner, University of Wisconsin at Madison

While it is widely known that the Mexican origin population in the United States has higher fertility than the U.S. population on average, few studies explore the proximate determinants behind this higher fertility. Using Donato and Kanaiaupuni's Health and Migration Study, with detailed information on health and migration experiences of Mexican origin individuals living in Houston and San Diego, I investigate the factors underlying contraceptive use among first generation Mexican immigrants. In particular, I study how socioeconomic and cultural characteristics of both male and female partners in a union are related to their use of contraception. From preliminary results, I find some support for the relationship between cultural characteristics and contraceptive use, but little support for the relationship between socioeconomic characteristics and contraceptive use. The models with the best fit employ both male and female partners' characteristics, suggesting the involvement of both men and women in contraceptive decision making.

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Presented in Session 16: Contraception