Determinants of teenage fertility in coast province : Evidence from the 2008/9 kenya demographic and health survey (KDHS)
Teenage fertility has been a major concern both nat ionally and globally. A better understanding, therefore, of its determinants to inform programmer s, researchers and policy makers on how best to reverse the trends so as to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Number 1: To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; Number 2: To achieve universal primary education; Number 3: To promote gender equality and empower wo men; Number 4: To reduce child mortality and Number 5: To improve maternal health will be useful. According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) 2008-9, 18% of young women age 15-19 had already began childbearing. In Coast Province, 26% of teena gers had either had a live birth or were pregnant with their first child at the time of the survey. This is the second highest national teenage fertility after Nyanza Province (27%) with the lowest being Central Province (10%). As such, the objectives of this investigation is th erefore to analyze the determinants of teenage childbearing in Coast Province while examining the socioeconomic, cultural, biological and behavioral factors influencing teenage fertility in this region. 247 respondents were eligible for this investigatio n. Bongaarts Fertility Framework (1984) was operationalized as it allows for identification of major pathways through which socioeconomic, cultural, biological and behavioral factors influen ce fertility. Multivariate logistic regression was used. Descript ive statistics generated showed distribution of women in the 15-19 age category by their background characteristics. Cross-tabulations were used to show any significant relationships that exi st between each of the various predictor variables on the outcome variable. To determine whe ther these associations are statistically significant, a Chi-square test was used to measure the dependence of the association. The Chi- square also showed if any two variables of cross ta bulations were independent. Bivariate analysis indicated that there was statist ically significant relationship between years of schooling, religion, current marital status, age at first sex and current use of modern contraceptives. The risk of teenage childbearing va ried quite significantly across the predictor variables and none had a statistically significant association with teenage fertility in the Coastal Region. As such, there is need to for further research to b ring out the drivers of high teenage fertility in Coast Province. A comparative study with Central Pr ovince will be key as it is almost a third of the teenage fertility in Coast.