The validity of estimates of unintended¬†childbearing¬†has often been questioned, especially given their almost exclusive reliance on responses to survey questions that ask women to recall their intentions about past pregnancies. An opportunity to compare prospective and retrospective descriptions of intendedness was provided by a follow-up survey in four Indian states in 2002‚Äì2003 of¬†rural¬†woman originally interviewed in the 1998‚Äì99 National Family Health Survey-2. The results demonstrate a pronounced tendency for births prospectively classified as¬†unwanted¬†to be retrospectively described as having been wanted or mistimed. The main reason seems to be either that mothers adapt to the reality of a new birth or are reluctant to describe an existing child as having initially been¬†unwanted. Our findings suggest that retrospective accounts of the wantedness of a birth, such as those obtained by¬†current¬†Demographic and Health Surveys, may lead to significant¬†underestimates¬†of true¬†levels¬†of¬†unwanted¬†childbearing.
GI Publications & Resources
Do current measurement approaches underestimate levels of unwanted childbearing? Evidence from rural India.
Publication Year: 2006
Link to File: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00324720600895819#.U7xFPq1dVm0