Psychosocial aspects of contraceptive sterilization in women.
All previous investigations of female contraceptive sterilization have been subject to research limitations which severely compromise their conclusions. 5 categories of limitation are discussed: 1) conceptualization, 2) design, 3) methods of assessment, 4) sampling, and 5) data analysis and interpretation. After this brief critique, a discussion of potentially useful future research organized around the areas of psychological antecedents, the decision-making process, and psychological outcomes is presented. 9 characteristics of women who select contraceptive sterilization are suggested, along with methods by which they might be measured. Research is needed on the factors governing the choice of surgical procedures as well as choice of which partner will undergo the operation. A model is presented of the decision-making process in female contraceptive sterilization which includes stages of predecision, decision, and postintervention, with psychological tasks, environmental factors and decision making dimensions of each stage specified. Psychological outcomes at the biological, intrapsychic and social levels are discussed and future research needs noted.