To develop and test an Integrated Gateway Model of behaviors and factors leading to subsequent positive reproductive, maternal, and child health behaviors.
A secondary analysis was conducted using previously published household survey data collected from men (n = 5551; 2011) and women (n = 16 144; 2011) in Nigeria and women in Egypt (n = 2240; 2004–2007). The number of health behaviors each potential gateway behavior predicted was assessed by multivariate regression, adjusting for potential confounders. The influence of gateway factors on gateway behaviors was tested via interaction terms. Gateway behaviors and factors were ranked by the number of health outcomes predicted, both separately and synergistically.
The key gateway behavior identified in both datasets was spousal communication about family planning, whereas the key gateway factor was exposure to family planning messages.
The model could facilitate innovative research and programming that in turn might promote cascades of positive behaviors in reproductive, maternal, and child health.
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