Human Fertility in Latin America: Sociological Perspectives

By J. Mayone Stycos | Go to book overview

6
Interpersonal Influence in Family Planning in Puerto Rico *

In areas of the world where illiteracy is high and levels of living are low, the mass media play a relatively minor role in determining the opinions and knowledge of large numbers of the population. In such regions, word-of-mouth communications via primary groups or local opinion leaders are of greater importance. The introduction of technological change in such areas can be facilitated by the identification of the important influence groups or persons, and by knowledge of the processes by which these shape and communicate information and opinion. In this chapter three topics will be discussed: (1) the extent of interpersonal communication on birth control; (2) the sources of influence and information; (3) the possible differential effects of these sources on fertility control behavior among a sample of lower-income Puerto Ricans.


THE EXTENT OF INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION ON BIRTH CONTROL

The sample under consideration is composed of 888 women and a subsample of 322 husbands of these women. All families had at least one child, had less than eight years of education (2.7

____________________
*
This chapter written in collaboration with Kurt Back and Reuben Hill.

-83-

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