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Examination of factors contributing to early childbearing in Sub-Saharan Africa : using the findings from the South African demographic and health survey of 1998 and Zimbabwean demographic and health survey of 1999.

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Using South African and Zimbabwean Demographic and Health Surveys of 1998 and 1999 respectively, findings show that about 35% and 42% women between the ages 15-24 years had given birth at least once in South Africa and Zimbabwe respectively. Of these births, 26% and 32.2% occurred to South African and Zimbabwean women before they reached their 20th birthday respectively. In addition, these births among women between ages 15-24 account for 17% and 27% of the total births in South Africa and Zimbabwe. These are indeed high levels of early childbearing. It is because of these high levels of early childbearing that this dissertation aims to examine determinants contributing to early childbearing. To achieve this, two comparable data sources are analyzed, namely South African Demographic and Health Surveys (SADHS) of 1998 and Zimbabwean Demographic and Health Surveys (ZDHS) of 1999. The results from this dissertation show that major significant determinants contributing to early childbearing are the age of sexual debut; childhood place of residence; highest level of education attained; socio-economic status; and ethnicity and sex of household head. The results of this dissertation make an important contribution to the growing knowledge base of Sub-Saharan African early childbearing research. Its recommendations are based on the findings of the determinants contributing to high levels of childbearing, which can be used for planning and policy development towards adolescent fertility prevention.


Thesis (M.A.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.


Youth--Sexual behaviour--South Africa., Youth--Sexual behaviour--Zimbabwe., Teenage pregnancy--South Africa., Teenage pregnancy--Zimbabwe., Theses--Development studies.