Exploring Reproductive Coercion in Relationship Contexts Among Young Adult, Primarily African American Women at Three Women’s Health Clinics

Mary T. Paterno, Jessica E Draughon Moret, Anna Paskausky, Jacquelyn C. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Understanding reproductive coercion experiences in marginalized populations is important to assist in tailoring care and services. Reproductive coercion is consistently associated with intimate partner violence (IPV), engaging in sexual risk-taking, and is more commonly reported among non-White women. We conducted a secondary analysis of data from a mixed methods study to examine reproductive coercion in relationship contexts among a sample (N = 130) of young adult, primarily African American women recruited from three women’s health clinics; 12 also participated in an in-depth interview. Thirty-six women (27.7%) reported reproductive coercion in the past year. Past-year reproductive coercion was associated with relationship trust, (t(128) = −3.01, p =.003), and past-year IPV (Fisher’s exact test, p =.005). In the best-fit model, odds of past-year reproductive coercion increased by 4% with each one-point increase in relationship trust score (indicating reproductive coercion increased with lower trust; adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.04; 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.00, 1.08]), and by more than 4 times with past experience of IPV (AOR = 4.74; 95% CI = [1.07, 20.86]). Qualitative analysis revealed women’s awareness of reproductive coercion whether or not they personally experienced it. Those who experienced reproductive coercion identified it as a form of abuse and additionally described experiences of pressure to conceive from the partner’s family. Our results support routine screening for IPV and reproductive coercion. Furthermore, the intersection of partner reproductive coercion with family pressure related to reproductive decision making should be explored to better inform clinical interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
StateAccepted/In press - Feb 1 2018



  • intimate partner violence
  • mixed methods
  • relationships
  • reproductive coercion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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