Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology
Gordon N. Keller
H. Bruce Bylund
A fertility and family planning survey was conducted among the recipients of pub lie welfare ass i stance in San Juan County, Utah. Two hundred twenty-five recipient families out of some 536 families on the list were interviewed during May and June of 1968 by nine graduate and undergraduate students in Sociology and Social Work with the help of Social Welfare workers and Navajo interpreters.
The study was primarily concerned with the following objectives: (1) to study the level and age patterns of fertility of a group of selected Navajo Indians, (2) to investigate the factors which might affect the fertility, desired fami.ly size, and ideal family size, (3) to study the knowledge of and the extent of the use of birth control methods among the selected group, (4) to compare the findings of previous fertility studies dealing with other groups to those found among the selected group of Navajos.
The data indicate that the fertility of Navajo women was very high, reaching the completed fertility rate of 9. 2 children for women aged 45-49 years as compared with that of 2.4 children and 2 .8 children for white and non-white women in the United States in 1960 respectively. The number of children ever born among the total ever married women was 6 .6 children . The number of children the Navajo women considered ideal for a couple in general and for the Navajo family in particular was 7 . 1 children and 7.7 children respectively.
A strong inverse relationship was observed among Navajo women between fertility level and several social variables. The fertility of women who knew English was as much as 3.9 percent below that of women who did not . Fertility was also lower among those who had more frequent contact with white people. Although the proportion of women who knew any methods of birth control was very low (only 50 percent of the total women), the fertility of these women was considerably lower than that of those who did not know anything about birth control.
Shaffer, Gary Morris, "Fertility and Family Planning Among Navajo Indian Recipients of Public Welfare Assistance in Southeastern Utah" (1969). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 3023.
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