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Reproductive Autonomy Scale

The Reproductive Autonomy Scale (RAS) is a 14-item self-reported measure of individual experiences of ability to achieve reproductive goals, comprising of three domains: Decision-making, Freedom from Coercion, and Communication. Different aspects of reproductive autonomy captured by the scale include a woman’s power to control matters regarding contraceptive use, pregnancy, and childbearing, and to evaluate interventions to increase women’s autonomy domestically and globally.

Categories

Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults

Items:

Decision-making

Intructions: The next questions are about you and your main partner or a recent sexual partner. The questions ask about who has the most say in different types of decisions. “Most say” means if there was a disagreement, the person who would have final say. If you have more than one partner, think about your main partner. If you don’t have a partner, think about a previous partner. If you have not had to make any of the following decisions, please think about who would have the most say in the decision. For these questions, please select one of the following response choices:

  • My sexual partner (or someone else such as a parent or mother in-lawfather in-law),
  • Both me and my sexual partner (or someone else such as a parent or mother in-law father in-law) equally,
  • Me

1. Who has the most say about whether you use a method to prevent pregnancy?
2. Who has the most say about which method you would use to prevent pregnancy?
3. Who has the most say about when you have a baby in your life?
4. If you became pregnant but it was unplanned, who would have the most say about whether you would raise the child, seek adoptive parents, or have an abortion?

Response Options:
My sexual partner (or someone else such as a parent or mother in-lawfather in-law) - 1
Both me and my sexual partner (or someone else such as a parent or mother in-law father in-law) equally - 2
Me - 3

Instructions: The next questions are about you and your main or a recent sexual partner.

Freedom from Coercion

5. My partner has stopped me from using a method to prevent pregnancy when I wanted to use one
6. My partner has messed with or made it difficult to use a method to prevent pregnancy when I wanted to use one.
7. My partner has made me use a method to prevent pregnancy when I did not want to use one.
8. If I wanted to use a method to prevent pregnancy my partner would stop me.
9. My partner has pressured me to become pregnant.

Communication

10. My partner would support me if I wanted to use a method to prevent pregnancy.
11.It is easy to talk about sex with my partner.
12.If I didn’t want to have sex I could tell my partner.
13.If I was worried about being pregnant or not being pregnant I could talk to my partner about it.
14.If I really did not want to become pregnant I could get my partner to agree with me.

Response Options:
4-point Likert scale
Strongly disagree - 1
Disagree - 2
Agree - 3
Strongly agree - 4

Scoring Procedures

Item scores are averaged to calculate subscale and total measure scores. Higher scores indicate greater levels of autonomy.

Original Citation

Upadhyay, U. D., Dworkin, S. L., Weitz, T. A., & Foster, D. G. (2014). Development and validation of a reproductive autonomy scale. Studies in family planning, 45(1), 19-41. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1728-4465.2014.00374.x

Psychometric Score

Citation Frequency

Ease of Use Score

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

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Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing

Reliability

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Validity

Content

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Criterion (gold-standard)

Construct

Ease of Use

Readability

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