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Behavior change strategies for family planning


  • Elder, John P.
  • Estey, Jacqueline D.


The technology of behavior modification is central to most family planning and population control strategies. Positive, differential and negative reinforcement, usually cast in terms of 'incentives' and 'disincentives', have been applied to promoting child spacing and contraceptive use throughout the developing world. A wide variety of options are available to program planners interested in decreased birth rates, increased contraceptive use and/or birth spacing, and general promotion of family planning behavior. Given the tremendous problems with overpopulation and maternal/child health in developing nations today, behavior modification techniques are proposed specifically as the most effective way to motivate behavior change in the area of birth planning. These techniques also provide a useful framework with which to classify current family planning strategies and maximize their overall effectiveness. Given the powerful potential of this technology, understanding relevant ethical considerations and limitations is of paramount importance.

Suggested Citation

  • Elder, John P. & Estey, Jacqueline D., 1992. "Behavior change strategies for family planning," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1065-1076, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:35:y:1992:i:8:p:1065-1076

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