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Applicability of a Salient Belief Elicitation to Measure Abortion Beliefs

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Objectives: Salient belief elicitations (SBEs), informed by the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA), are used to identify 3 sets of beliefs – behavioral, control, and normative – that influence attitudes toward a health behavior. SBEs ask participants about their own beliefs through open-ended questions. We adapted a SBE by focusing on abortion, which is infrequently examined through SBEs; we also included a survey version that asked participants their views on what a hypothetical woman would do if contemplating an abortion. Given these deviations from traditional SBEs, the purpose of this study was to assess if the adapted SBE was understood by participants in English and Spanish through cognitive interviewing. Methods: We examined participants' interpretations of SBE items about abortion to determine if they aligned with the corresponding RAA construct. We administered SBE surveys and conducted cognitive interviews with US adults in both English and Spanish. Results: Participants comprehended the SBE questions as intended. Participants' interpretations of most questions were also in line with the respective RAA construct. Conclusions: SBE survey questions were comprehended well by participants. We discuss areas in which SBE questions can be modified to improve alignment with the underlying RAA construct to assess abortion beliefs.
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Keywords: ABORTION; ATTITUDES; LANGUAGE; PREGNANCY; SURVEY RESEARCH

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Julie M. Maier, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Applied Health Science, School of Public Health, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, United States 2: Kristen N. Jozkowski, William L. Yarber Endowed Professor in Sexual Health, Department of Applied Health Science, School of Public Health, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, United States;, Email: [email protected] 3: Danny Valdez, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Health Science, School of Public Health, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, United States 4: Brandon L. Crawford, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Health Science, School of Public Health, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, United States 5: Ronna C. Turner, Professor, Educational Statistics and Research Methods, College of Education and Health Professions, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, United States 6: Wen-Juo Lo, Associate Professor, Educational Statistics and Research Methods, College of Education and Health Professions, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, United States

Publication date: January 1, 2021

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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