Korean J Prev Med. 1975; 8(1): 37-52.
Differential Effects of Communication Media on Family Planning Behavior.
The use of communication media suitable for the audience and message is important in conducting effective family planning IEC activities. This study 'intended to assess differential effects of various media used by the Korean program on rural women's family planning knowledge, attitude, and practice. Data for the study were collected originally for the study of family planning mothers' clubs by the School of Public Health, Seoul National University in 1973. The sample was drawn according to the principle usually employed in obtaining a small sample from a large area. Initially, a sample of 25 Gun's was selected from a total of 138 Gun's by systematic random sampling on the basis of the list of number of mother's clubs in each Gun. Secondly, from each of these primary units(Gun) selected, two second stage units(Myon) were drawn by a systematic random sampling method based on the list of the number of Li's -in each Myon. Finally, a sample of nine Li's was drawn by a simple random sampling method from each Myon selected in the second stage sampling. In this way, a total of 450 Li's, 18 Li's from each of 25 Gun's, were selected. In one of thess 18 Li's of each Gun, all the married women with a living husband, up to age 49, were interviewed. out of 1.052 women interviewed, 145 women were naturally sterile or beyond menopause, and were excluded from thib study. Thus, the analytical population consists of 90 fecundable wives, including those with tubal ligation. A series of analyses were made to examine the relationships between family planning status and selected socio-demographic and communication variables. The family planning status was measured by three indicators, one for each of family planning knowledge, attitude, and practice. The variable for family planning knowledge was created by classifying the respondents into two groups: 1) those who professed to know in detail at least one contraceptive method out of a total of five, including the loop, oral pill, vasectomy, condom, and rhythm, and 2) those who had no professed knowledge about any method. The variable for family planning attitude was dichotomized into those who had favorable attitude toward at least one method among the same list of five, and those who did not have a favorable attitude toward any method. Contraceptive status was classified into two categories of current users and non-users. The independent variables, applied to explain the family planning status, include four sociode-mographie variables and six communication variables. The socio-demographic variables are age, education, number of living children and sons, and ideal number of sons. Communication variables are frequency of exposure to family planning messages through each of the following channels: radio and/or TV, newspaper and/or magazine, 'Happy Home' and/or leaflet, public meeting and/or lecture, family planning worker, and neighbor. Major findings obtained from the analysis are summarized as follows: 1. It was observed that about 33% of the eligible women did not want to have additional children but were not practicing contraception(pong-eem). About half of these women were ever-users and the other half were never-users. They have at least perceived the need for family planning, and thus, should be a primary target population for family planning IEC activities. 2. Socio-demographic variables showed a'closer association with practice than with knowledge or attitude. 3. The communication variables affected family planning status over and above the effects of the socio-demographic variables. When the communication variables were added to the socio-demographic variables as independent variables in the multiple classification analysis, the explained variance was increased by 6.3% in knowledge, 8.7% in attitude, and 4.3% in practice. This also suggests that the communication variables exert larger effects on knowledge and attitude than on practice. Family planning adoption decisions may be influenced by many other factors as well as by family planning knowledge and attitude. 4. The Beta-coefficient was computed for each of the independent variables in multiple classification analysis. Among the media considered in this study, 1) neighborhood communication, radio and/or TV, and 'Happy Home' and/or leaflet had significant effect on family planning knowledge:2) public meetings and/or lecture, radio and/or TV, and neighborhood communication had significant effect on family planning attitude: and 3) radio and/or TV, Happy Home and/or leaflet, and home visit had significant effect on family planning practice. Although program media, neighborhood communication, and radio and/or TV appeared to be more effective than other media, no definite pattern emerged. In the interpretation of these data, however, it should be remembered tha t the frequency of contact varies with the media. 5. When women were exposed to family planning messages more frequently, they tended to have more detailed knowledge about, and more favorable attitudes toward family planning, and were more likely to he practicing family planning. 6. Media behavior differed with age and educational level. It was found that the younger the women and the higher their educational level, the more frequently they were exposed to family planning messages through radio, TV, or printed materials. On the other hand, the older the women and the lower their educational level, the more frequently they were exposed to family planning messages through meetings, home visits, and neighborhood communication. This implies that the audiences' characteristics, such as age and educational level, should be taken into account in the selection of appropriate media.