Reproductive Health Services: Barriers to Use Among College Students

Melina Bersamin, Deborah A. Fisher, Arik V. Marcell, Laura J. Finan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The objective of the current study was to explore demographic, financial, and psychosocial barriers associated with the use/non-use of reproductive health (RH) services. The sample included 212 college students (60 % female) aged 18–19 from a Northern California public university. In October, 2014, students took an on-line survey with questions on knowledge, access, barriers, and use of different RH services and settings. Findings indicated that college students were more likely to visit a primary care setting and/or school-based setting for their RH care. Sexual intercourse was the strongest correlate of having received RH care in the past year, followed by gender, social disapproval, and knowledge of available services. Analyses stratified by gender found a similar pattern among females. However, the only significant predictor among males was knowledge of available services. These finding highlight universities as uniquely positioned to reduce perceived barriers to accessing RH services by making use of technology, promoting health and wellness centers, and providing/adding sexual and reproductive information to general education classes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-159
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Barriers to reproductive health services
  • College students
  • Gender
  • Health care access
  • Knowledge of health services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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