Press Release
Third Annual Jacobs Institute of
Women's Health - Ortho Pharmaceutical
Scholar Named

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$30,000 Grant Supports Study of Low Rates of
Contraceptive Use Among Latina Women


WASHINGTON - Jennifer B. Unger, PhD, of the University of Southern California School of Medicine in Los Angeles was chosen as the 1997 Jacobs Institute of Women's Health-Ortho Pharmaceutical Scholar this month from a field of 69 applicants.

Unger will use the 12-month $30,000 grant to explore social, cultural, and demographic reasons for low rates of contraceptive use among Latina women. She will work with bilingual students from Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School in Los Angeles, California to conduct interviews with low-income, mostly Latina, Spanish-speaking women in a waiting room of a large public hospital. The interviews will assess demographic characteristics, cultural norms and expectations, career and educational aspirations, perceived social support and acceptance for contraceptive use by family and friends, financial constraints, and barriers to contraceptive use.

Dr. Unger will analyze the relationship of contraceptive use to each of these issues. She stated, "The results of this study will be used to create educational materials and health education programs for schools and family planning clinics addressing the most powerful barriers to effective contraception among Latinas."

"We're very pleased to support Dr. Unger's work," said Martha Romans, Director of the Jacobs Institute, "because it will lead to a better understanding of social and cultural issues in providing reproductive health care to Latina women."

Dr. Unger is a Research Associate at the Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the American Public Health Association.

The Jacobs Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the knowledge, practice, and understanding of women's health care. At the completion of the study, the results will be published in the Jacobs Institute's bimonthly journal, Women's Health Issues.

Headquartered in Raritan, New Jersey, Ortho Pharmaceutical is a leader in women's health care products. Ortho markets prescription products in the field of women's reproductive health.

Finding ways to improve the delivery of health care services to women is the focus of the annual Jacobs Institute-Ortho Pharmaceutical Scholar in Women's Health award. Research that considers the changing health care environment, the unmet need for primary and preventive health services, the historic lack of research on women's health, and the importance of social, cultural, legal, economic, and behavioral factors influencing the financing and delivery of health care to woman is eligible. The application deadline for the 1998 award is October 15, 1997. For more information or for grant instructions, contact the Jacobs Institute at 202-863-4990, or e-mail .

Note: To obtain a photograph of Dr. Unger or to arrange for an interview, please contact Elizabeth Markle, MPH at or 202-863-4990.

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For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
Shannon R. Mouton
The Jacobs Institute
(202) 863-4989