Religious leaders gain ground in the Jordanian family-planning movement

Carol Underwood, Sarah Kamhawi, Ahmad Nofal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective To assess the effect of a training program designed to enhance the role of Muslim religious leaders (RLs) in promoting family welfare, including reproductive health generally and family planning more specifically. Methods A panel study design was utilized; 136 and 115 RLs completed the self-administered questionnaires at baseline (pre-training) and endline (6 months post-training), respectively. Scales were generated to assess RLs' knowledge of the number of family-planning methods deemed to be acceptable according to Islamic teachings (9 methods, Cronbach α = 0.85), attitudes toward family planning (7 statements, Cronbach α = 0.67), and preaching and/or counseling on family-planning topics (7 topics, Cronbach α = 0.85). Results Linear regressions controlling for sex, age, and educational attainment showed that, on average, RLs cited more methods deemed acceptable according to Islamic teachings (β = 1.381; P < 0.001), expressed more positive attitudes toward family planning (β = 0.514; P < 0.05), and preached and/or counseled on family-planning topics more frequently at endline compared with baseline (β = 0.965; P < 0.01). Conclusion Culturally appropriate training for RLs can lead to a deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, reproductive health and family planning, with the effects manifesting as increased preaching and/or counseling about these important topics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e33-e37
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


  • Family planning
  • Islam
  • Religious leaders
  • Reproductive health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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