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Predicting Contraceptive Behavior in India Using Attitude Theories1


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    I would like to thank Glenn Sanders for his guidance with the overall study (especially design issues), Jeroo Kotval for valuable discussions and partial funding, and James Jaccard for advice on statistical and theoretical matters.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Mrinmoyi Kulkarni, of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai, India 400076. E-mail:


This study examined the performance of the theory of reasoned action (TRA), the theory of planned behavior (TPB), and the unified theory of behavior (UTB) in predicting contraceptive use behavior among low-income urban Indian women. Participants were 150 low-income urban Indian women who were surveyed using a questionnaire designed to measure the constructs used by these theories. A combined etic–emic methodology was employed in the questionnaire design. The constructs of mastery and descriptive norm were investigated as predictors of contraceptive intention and behavior. The mentioned models indicated predictive utility for the low-income sample, with the UTB faring better than the TRA or the TPB in predicting contraceptive use.