FACTORS INFLUENCING ADOLESCENT FERTILITY IN URBAN KENYA

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ABSTRACT
Adolescent fertility is an issue of increasing concern in developed and developing countries. High adolescent fertility results in an increase in total fertility and leads to rapid population growth. The 2008/09 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) results indicated that urban adolescent fertility was slightly higher than the rural adolescent fertility. This study sought to establish the factors influencing adolescent fertility in urban Kenya. Specifically, it sought to determine the socio-demographic and economic factors influencing adolescent fertility in urban Kenya, and to identify the key proximate determinants of adolescent fertility in urban Kenya.
The study utilized the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) data of 2008/09. The main methods of data analysis were descriptive statistics, logistic regression, and the Bongaarts model of proximate determinants. Bivariate findings showed that years of schooling, current marital status, age at first sex, and contraceptive use were significantly associated with adolescent fertility in urban Kenya at the significance level of 0.05. The majority of births occurred among adolescents with 1-7 years of schooling (P=0.001), those that were married (P=0.001), those with age at first sex of <18 years (P=0.002), and those that used contraceptives (P=0.001). Results of the overall logistic regression model indicated that marital status and age at first sex were associated with adolescent fertility. Adolescents in urban Kenya who were not married (OR=0.25, P<0.001) and those whose age at first intercourse was 18-19 years (OR=0.157, P<0.05) were significantly less likely to have initiated childbearing. Results from the Bongaarts model of fertility indicated that marriage, contraceptive use, and postpartum infecundability were associated with adolescent fertility in urban Kenya. However, the index of marriage had the strongest fertility inhibiting effect, thus was the key proximate determinant of adolescent fertility in urban Kenya.
The main policy implication for these study findings is that the government should develop interventional programmes to delay marriage and age at first sex among adolescents. Such programmes should target urban areas where more adolescents have no education or have only a few years of schooling, and where many adolescents marry earlier. Additionally, sexual educational programmes for urban adolescents are necessary to inform them on the need to delay their onset of sexual intercourse

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