Women’s Contraceptive Use Correlates to Sex Education and Moral Attitudes

May 30, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended, and unplanned. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnancies are associated with poorer health and lower rates of educational and economic achievement for women and their children. However, research shows that the desire to avoid pregnancy does not necessarily increase women’s use of contraceptives, although this discrepancy is not well understood. Now, MU researchers have found that levels of prior sex education and moral attitudes toward contraception influence whether women use contraceptives to prevent pregnancy.

“Our study showed that when women had more comprehensive sex education that consisted of information about healthy relationships, abstinence from sexual intercourse and how to properly use contraceptives, they were more likely to seek health care and use contraception compared to women who received abstinence-only sex education,” said Sinclair School of Nursing clinical instructor Valerie Bader. “We also found that when women believe contraception is morally wrong, they were less likely to visit women’s health clinics or use contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancies.”

Bader and her colleagues analyzed data from a national survey of 900 unmarried women ages 18-29 to better understand how contraceptive knowledge and attitudes affect the likelihood that women will visit health clinics or use contraceptives to prevent unintended pregnancies. The findings provide a better understanding of the factors involved in women’s decisions about contraceptives and can assist health professionals and educators in developing interventions to improve acceptance and correct use of contraceptives, Bader said.

“In general, individuals need more access to comprehensive contraceptive information so they can make informed decisions; however, this information can be difficult to obtain because the national dialogue about sexuality and contraception is very polarized due to individuals’ moral attitudes,” Bader said. “Family planning leads to healthier futures for moms and their children to a degree that few other health promotion efforts can match. Having children is a life-changing decision, and the opportunity to plan pregnancies can help people from all backgrounds be happy about pregnancy and prepared to raise children.”

Bader’s study, “The role of previous contraception education and moral judgment in contraceptive use,” was published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health earlier this year. Researchers Patricia J. Kelly, An-Lin Cheng and Jackie Witt at the University of Missouri-Kansas City also participated in the research.

Story written by Sarah Clinton with the MU News Bureau

Nearly 200 Nursing Students Ascend Into the Ranks of Alumni

May 16, 2014

Columbia, Mo. — The University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing (MU SSON) celebrated commencement exercises Friday, May 16, 2014. The school awarded a total of 191 degrees at Jesse Auditorium inside Jessie Hall on the University of Missouri campus,

There were 136 BSN, 45 Accelerated BSN, 38 RN-BSN, 32 MSN, 18 DNP and 5 PhD graduates. Of the undergraduates, 24 graduated with honors: 10 cum laude, 3 magna cum laude and 11 summa cum laude; 88 were on the dean’s list.

Dean Judith Fitzgerald Miller presided over the ceremony and gave the main address. Student addresses were given by Jacob Wren, BSN candidate; Cassie Gallemore, accelerated BSN candidate; and jo-Ana Chase, PhD candidate. Each graduate also received a rose from the Nursing Alumni Organization.

Special faculty and student awards were given during the ceremony:

  • Nursing Student Council Outstanding Clinical Teaching Faculty Award
    • Hillary Claunch
  • Nursing Student Council Outstanding Classroom Teaching Faculty Award
    • Pam Evans-Smith
  • Nursing Student Council Outstanding Student Award
    • Lauren Bachman and Amanda Yung
  • Janet ‘Joy’ Thompson Undergraduate Student Award
    • Sam Urkov
  • Geriatric Excellence Undergraduate Student Award
    • Lauren Bachman

MU Sinclair School of Nursing graduation pictures are available on the school’s Flickr page.

Sigma Theta Tau Induction-15

The Sigma Theta Tau Alpha Iota chapter inducted new members prior to the graduation ceremony May 16. Pictures from the Sigma Theta Tau induction pictures are available on the school’s Flickr page.