The determinants of adolescent fertility in Kenya: evidence from K.D.H.S 1993
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The problem of adolescent fertility continues to persist and raise concern in Kenya. This study examined the determinants of adolescent fertility in the country using data from the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey data, 1993, a survey conducted by National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) and the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). The survey used stratified multistage probability sampling to select 526 clusters nationally. A total of 1788 women aged 15-19 (in this study considered as adolescents) was interviewed in the survey. This study investigated different factors largely grouped under socio-economic, socio-cultural and demographic factors that affect fertility. The social-cultural variables considered are; ethnicity, religion and place of residence while the social-economic variables considered are occupation, knowledge of any method and education level. The demographic variables considered are age, age at first intercourse and marital status. The study adopted the proximate determinant model to guide the analysis. The intermediate variable used in this study was ever use of contraception. Data was analyzed using frequencies, cross tabulation with chi-square as well as logistic regression analysis. The bivariate results found that adolescent fertility is influenced by an interaction of different factors, which can be grouped as socioeconomic, socio-cultural, and demographic factors. The chi-square test confirmed all the variables to be significantly associated with adolescent fertility except the variable type of place of residence. The multivariate analysis found age, current marital status, education level, ethnicity, occupation, and knowledge of any method of contraception, age at first intercourse (15-19 yrs), ever use of contraceptives and religion to be significantly associated with adolescent fertility in Kenya. In terms of policy, the study recommends the development of programs that delay and discourage early marriage including the setting up of a minimum age at marriage. It also recommends the development of relevant programs to encourage girl child education with higher enrollment and retention levels especially up to at least secondary school level. In this study there were some unexpected findings such as adolescents with no education having lower fertility levels than those with primary school education. Similarly, the positive association between knowledge of contraception; ever use of contraception and adolescent fertility were unexpected. This study recommends similar qualitative studies at both national and sub-national levels to provide qualitative explanations and increase the understanding of adolescent fertility.
Department of Population Studies, University of Nairobi
Master of Arts Degree in Population Studies