Couples vs. Individual Family Planning Counseling: A Randomized Experiment

Marianne El-Khoury, Abt Associates
Rebecca L. Thornton, University of Michigan
Minki Chatterji, Abt Associates
Sarah Kamhawi, Abt Associates
Soonie Choi, Abt Associates

This study measures the impact of family planning counseling – either individual counseling or couples counseling – on family planning outcomes, and identifies mechanisms through which counseling affect use of and knowledge about modern contraception. Low-income women in urban Jordan were randomly assigned to a control group that received no counseling, a treatment group where women received counseling alone, and another treatment group of women who received counseling together with their husbands. Six month after a baseline survey and the counseling intervention, we interview both husbands and wives (separately) to measure the effects of the different modes of counseling. Preliminary findings suggest both types of counseling have positive and significant effects on family planning knowledge, attitudes, and uptake. Yet, counseling does not affect fertility preferences, suggesting the desire to space pregnancies, rather than limit the number of children. We find no significant differential impact of the types of counseling.

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Presented in Session 74: His and Her Contraceptive Use