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Husband-Wife Agreement, Power Relations and Contraceptive Use in Turkey
Authors: Andrzej Kulczycki
Source: International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health (formerly: International Family Planning Perspectives), Volume 34, Number 3, September 2008
Topic(s): Contraception
Women's status
Country: Asia
  Turkey
Published: SEP 2008
Abstract: CONTEXT: In Turkey, contraceptive use has become more widespread, but little is known about the concurrence of spousal reports or the relative influence of communication, decision making and power differentials on method use. METHODS: Data from the 1998 Turkish Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) for 1,546 married couples were tested for concurrence between spousal reports on fertility and family planning variables. Multivariate regression analyses based on wives', husbands' and joint reports of current contraceptive use were used to assess the association between such use and various background, communication and interspousal variables. RESULTS: Spousal reports on most fertility and contraceptive use measures demonstrated moderate to high concordance, whereas reports of approval of family planning showed only fair concordance. After adjusting for background factors, models based on wives' and husbands' reports showed that current contraceptive use was positively associated with the number of methods known (odds ratios, 1.2 and 1.1, respectively) and perception of spousal approval (3.3 and 2.0, respectively), and in the husbands' model, with approval of either spouse or both (3.8–5.8). In the combined model, contraceptive use was positively associated with both partners approving of family planning (2.4), and negatively associated with both partners wanting more than three children and with only wives wanting three or fewer (0.4 and 0.6, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Discrepancies between spousal reports were less significant in Turkey than in most developing countries with DHS data, but the differences were not inconsequential to explaining how spousal attitudes and preferences influence contraceptive use. No evidence was found associating interspousal power differentials with method use. Further research is needed to improve the testing and modeling of such dyadic processes.