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Talat Khadivzadeh, Robab Latifnejad Roudsari, Masoud Bahrami, Ali Taghipour, Jalal Abbasi Shavazi,
Volume 11, Issue 3 (5-2013)
Abstract

Background: Recently, the relevance of social interactions as determinants of behavioral intentions has been increasingly perceived, but there is a lack of knowledge on how and why it interacts with couples’ fertility intentions.
Objective: This qualitative study was conducted to explore the influence of social network on couples’ intention to have their first child in urban society of Mashhad, Iran in 2011.
Materials and Methods: In this exploratory qualitative study in-depth interviews were conducted with 24 participants including 14 fertile women, two parents, three husbands and five midwives and health care providers. The sample was selected purposively in urban health centers, homes and workplaces until data saturation was achieved. Data analysis was carried out adopting conventional content analysis approach through giving analytical codes and identification of categories using MAXqda software. Study rigor verified via prolonged engagement, validation of codes through member check and peer debriefing.
Results: Findings from data analysis demonstrated four major categories about social network’s influence on couples’ intention to have their first child including 1) perception of fertility relevant social network, 2) occurrence of various types of social influence 3) subjective judgment to the benefits of social network and its fitness to personal life, and 4) couples’ interaction with social network.
Conclusion: Managing the fertility behaviors need to include the consideration of personal social networks surrounding the couples. It is important to apply the study findings in providing family planning services and dissemination of appropriate fertility behaviors through community-based reproductive health care delivery system.

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