Self-Esteem, Spiritual Well-Being and Intimacy: A Comparison among Couples Using NFP and Oral Contraceptives

Richard Fehring, Marquette University
Donna M. Lawrence
Catherine M. Sauvage

International Review, Vol. 13, No. 3-4 (Fall 1989): 227-236. Publisher Link.


The purpose of this study was to compare the intimacy, spiritual well-being (SWB), and self-esteem of couples using natural family planning (NFP) with couples using oral contraceptives (OCs). Twenty-two couples who were using the Creighton Model Ovulation Method of NFP for one year to avoid pregnancy were matched with 22 couples who were using OCs for at least a one year period and administered a SWB, self-esteem, and intimacy inventory. Student t-tests were calculated to determine differences in the mean scores of the three inventories between the two groups. The results showed that the NFP couples had statistically higher self-esteem (T = 3.15, p < 0.01), SWB (T = 4.25, p < 0'()()1), and intellectual intimacy (T = 2.53, p < 0.05) than the oral contraceptive couples, There were no differences in emotional, social, recreational, and sexual intimacy between the groups. Although the results provide some evidence that N FP can enhance a couple's relationship, other facto rs such as sampling bias and educational levels could explain the differences.