Document Type



This paper explores the relationship between dependence upon kin and the use of contraception among a sample of Navajo women. It was hypothesized that in a society which still values high fertility and in which economic conditions are such as to make extended kin arrangements important as a means of redistributing income, those women with the highest probability of using contraception would be those who were in the most independent families. This was based upon the notion that while dependence upon kin serves an adaptive function in a poor population with multiple fluctuating sources of income, such kin networks also serve to insulate individuals from providers of contraceptives. The evidence from field work in this population tends to support the hypothesis.