Early Entry into Motherhood among Adolescent Girls in Two Informal Settlements in Nairobi, Kenya

Donatien Beguy, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Robert P. Ndugwa, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Caroline Kabiru, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

The contribution of adolescents’ fertility to total fertility rates in many sub-Saharan African countries is relatively higher than other regions. In this paper, we draw on data collected from 897 female adolescents aged 15-19 to investigate patterns and determinants of entry into motherhood in two informal settlements in Nairobi, Kenya. About 15% of these adolescents have had a child. We examine predictors of the timing of childbearing using Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox regression models. The findings show that marriage, being out of school, and having peer models for risk behaviors are associated with early childbearing among females aged 15-17 years. For adolescents aged 18-19 years, school attendance considerably delays entry into motherhood while marriage hastens its timing. Further, older adolescents with high levels of social controls (parental monitoring or peer models for prosocial behaviors) and individual controls (high religiosity and positive orientation to schooling) are likely to delay childbearing.

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Presented in Session 100: Adolescent Fertility and Reproductive Health in Africa