, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 1451–1472

Contraceptive Method Choice Among Youth in the United States: The Importance of Relationship Context


DOI: 10.1007/s13524-011-0061-0

Cite this article as:
Kusunoki, Y. & Upchurch, D.M. Demography (2011) 48: 1451. doi:10.1007/s13524-011-0061-0


We examine the relationship characteristics associated with contraceptive method choice within young people’s nonmarital sexual relationships, using data from retrospective relationship histories available in the third wave (2001–2002) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Data-reduction techniques produce a detailed multidimensional characterization of relationship commitment for nonmarital sexual relationships. We then use multilevel analysis to estimate associations between two key relationship characteristics—relationship commitment and couple heterogamy—and the type of contraceptive method used at last sexual intercourse within each relationship. Results indicate that for a given individual, contraceptive method choice varies across relationships as a function of these characteristics, even after we account for important individual and family characteristics and prior relationship experiences.


Romantic and sexual relationships Contraceptive behavior Adolescents and young adults Commitment Age and racial/ethnic heterogamy 

Supplementary material

13524_2011_61_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (92 kb)
Supplementary Material(PDF 91.8 kb)

Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Population Studies Center and Survey Research Center, Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.School of Public HealthUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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