Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Family Sciences (MSFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Family Sciences

First Advisor

Jason Hans, PhD, CFLE


Although abortion attitudes have been thoroughly investigated and population-level attitudes have not changed much over the past half-century, polls and research inquiring about abortion attitudes tend to ask isolated questions about if, and in what circumstances, abortion should be legal. The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which abortion attitudes both varied and changed according to several contextual factors. A multiple-segment factorial vignette was conducted with 530 respondents in the state of Kentucky. Overall, most respondents held strong attitudes on access to abortion, both before the rationale was provided and regardless of the rationale provided. However, attitudes tended to soften or change as more context is provided, specifically for those respondents who were initially unsupportive of abortion access and heard that the pregnancy was a result of rape. Additionally, for those who opposed abortion access, parental support for a minor wanting to abort seemed to particularly influential in softening or flipping attitudes. More nuanced approaches are needed for opinion polling and attitudinal research that take into account context.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)