The impact of internalized racism on reproductive health behaviors and outcomes
Awarded 2019
Complex Family Planning Fellowship Research
Kelly Treder, MD, MPH
Boston Medical Center

A mixed methods study of US-born Black or African American Women age 18 to 45 years recruited via social media and community outreach in Boston, Massachusetts. In the quantitative, survey portion of the study, we will ask questions regarding demographic characteristics, pregnancy history including intendedness, STI history, contraceptive use including condoms, and attitudes towards long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) and sterilization. We will then administer two instruments to assess internalized racism: the Appropriated Racial Oppression Scale and the Implicit Association Test. We will compare reproductive health outcomes between women with low versus high levels of internalized racism. While this is an exploratory study, we anticipate that women with high levels of internalized racism will be more likely to inconsistently use condoms; have a prior unintended pregnancy; have a prior abortion or prior preterm birth; and will be less willing to use LARC. We will recruit 5-10 participants who completed the survey to participate in the qualitative portion of the study. The qualitative portion of the study will consist of phone interviews regarding the three levels of racism (instititional, interpersonal, and internalized), their relationships with each other, and their impact on reproductive health.