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Comprehensive Child Marriage Research Library

Determinants of Adolescent Fertility in Malawi


Object Type:

Palamuleni, Martin E

Journal Article

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Gender & Behaviour

Peer Reviewed


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Students Against Child Marriage's Object Summary:

This study explores the leading causes of adolescent fertility in Malawi as a way to decrease population growth and increase opportunities for young women, who are less likely complete their education and more likely to have larger numbers of children if they have their first as adolescents. The study found that adolescents who were currently or formerly married were the majority of those who had given birth and that those with either no education or above secondary school education were less likely to have given birth than those with just primary school education. Additionally, younger adolescents (15 – 17) were less likely to have given birth than older adolescents (18 – 19), and those living in urban areas were less likely to have given birth than those living in rural areas as well as for those who had knowledge of family planning compared to those who did not. Adolescent fertility was also higher in the Southern Region, then the Northern Region, and then the Central Region. The authors conclude that decreasing early marriages and increasing intervention in the high-risk regions are the best options to decrease adolescent fertility.

Article Abstract (If Available):

High adolescent fertility is recognized as a global challenge given its adverse consequences. As such understanding the factors that influence adolescent fertility is critical to addressing this challenge. This study aims at examining the causes of adolescent fertility in Malawi using the 2010 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey. Bivariate analyses and logistic regressions were used to identify the determinants of adolescent fertility while Bongaarts model was used to determine proximate determinants of adolescent fertility. The study revealed that 20% of the adolescent had ever given birth. The most important factors influencing adolescent fertility in Malawi are age, region, type of residence, marital status, education level and knowledge and use of family planning. Bongaarts model revealed that the suppressing effects of marriage are significant followed by the effects of postpartum infecundability and contraception. These determinants of adolescent fertility as revealed in this study should be the center of adolescent sexual and reproductive health interventions.

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