Poverty-An Explanation for Teenage Pregnancy in South Africa?

Type Journal Article - Review of Development Economics
Title Poverty-An Explanation for Teenage Pregnancy in South Africa?
Volume 8
Page numbers 198-222
URL https://paa.confex.com/paa/2016/mediafile/ExtendedAbstract/Paper6533/PAA Poverty and TP.pdf
Teenage pregnancy (TP) remains an important health issue the world over with 11% of births
from 15-19 year old females. In South Africa, 30% of 19 year old females were ever pregnant
in 2013. Previous research has investigated individual-level characteristics yet few studies
have examined the environments of young women. Additionally, local studies failed to
examine the influence of poverty on TP quantitatively. This study examined the possible
association of poverty and TP. Using general household surveys of 2011-2013, females aged
10-19 years were included:25492 girls. Poverty measures included: household and
community-levels of poverty, home ownership and household head employment. Pregnancy
was modeled through multilevel logistic regression. Four percent of teenage females were
pregnant. Household- and community-levels of poverty were independently associated with
TP. The study shows empirical evidence of the construction of TP in poor South African
households and communities. Poverty-alleviation is needed to decrease TP in South Africa.

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