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ERIC Number: ED549639
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 130
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2673-0330-1
The Influence of Family and Significant Others on Women's Decisions to Obtain an Abortion: A Study of a Northwest Louisiana Abortion Clinic
Solomon, Bertina Loutrice
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Louisiana at Monroe
This study researched whether family members and significant others influence a woman's decision to obtain an abortion. Influence is defined by Merriam-Webster (2011) as the power or capacity of causing an effect in indirect or intangible ways; power exerted over the minds or behaviors of others. The theoretical framework that will be used in conjunction with this study is Systems Theory. "General systems theory derived from a general definition of system as complex of interacting components, concepts characteristics of organized wholes such as interaction, sum, mechanization, centralization, competition, finality, etc., and to apply them to concrete phenomena" (von Bertalanffy, 1968, p. 11). From the concept of general systems theory, many different viewpoints and perspectives began to crystallize into family systems theory which began to observe the functioning of a family in the same way that machines, within "systems," functioned. One theory suggests that linear causality does not exist. "Instead we find an emphasis on reciprocity, recursion, and shared responsibility. A and B exist in the context of a relationship in which each influences the other and both are equally cause and effect of each other's behavior" (Becvar & Becvar, 2000, p. 10). The researcher understood this to mean that no one can be in any type of relationship alone. Each person is an individual only in relation to the other individuals around them within their system, whether it be their family system, co-workers, or friends and significant others. The researcher gathered information from women who had sought services at an abortion clinic in Northwest Louisiana. Study participants completed a questionnaire that explored how the women chose to make the decision to seek an abortion, who or what influenced her decision, and how that influence had an impact on her. The researcher employed a mixed methods research approach while gathering information for the study. The mixed methods approach includes both quantitative and qualitative research. More information about this approach is thoroughly explained in the methodology chapter. The survey instrument that was used to gather the information is the 10-question Abortion Questionnaire (AQ), which is a variation of the Abortion Delay Questionnaire (ADQ) developed by John Lynxwiler and Michele Wilson (1998). The ADQ was developed to examine aspects of women's decisions to terminate unwanted pregnancies. "In particular, we were interested in features of the decision-making process that contributed to delays in seeking abortion for non-health reasons" (Lynxwiler & Wilson, p. 3). The researcher designed the AQ to report results in a quantitative manner. In order to examine the qualitative aspects of the study, the researcher incorporated a more in-depth discussion with ten participants about their decision-making process. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed for analysis. Because the AQ is a revision of Lynxwiler and Wilson's (1998) ADQ, the reliability and validity of the instrument was questionable. A pilot study was performed to determine the reliability and validity of the AQ prior to the instrument being administered for the purposes of the study. The pilot study was given to a sample of the population to determine whether the instrument measured what it said it would measure and whether the instrument measured consistently over all. It was anticipated given that Saturday was the busiest procedure day at the clinic that more women would be able to participate in the pilot study which allowed sufficient data to determine reliability and validity for the survey instrument. The pilot study was administered over a period of two Saturdays. Many researchers have studied the factors that influence a woman's decision to have an abortion. According to Finer and Henshaw (2006), some of these factors include: economic hardship, partner difficulties and un-readiness for parenting (p. 91). This researcher was interested in whether family members and significant others influence a woman's decision to obtain an abortion. Much of the information obtained by the researcher during the course of this study is much older information due to the lack of current research on the topic of abortion specifically pertaining to the areas being studied by the researcher. The hypothesis posed by the researcher was that women's decisions to have an abortion would be influenced by their family members or significant others. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana