How soon do single mothers have another child? A competing risk analysis of second premarital childbearing in sub-Saharan African countries

Clifford O. Odimegwu, Emmanuel O. Olamijuwon*, Vesper H. Chisumpa, Joshua O. Akinyemi, Mwiza G. Singini, Oluwaseyi D. Somefun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background

A considerable number of previous studies have examined the trends, correlates, and consequences of premarital childbearing among adolescents and young women in Africa. However, very little is known about whether and how soon single mothers have another premarital birth in sub-Saharan African countries. This study examines the timing of a second premarital birth among single mothers and assesses how it may differ across key socio-demographic variables.

Methods

We pooled recent Demographic and Health Surveys from 25 sub-Saharan African countries to create a database of 57, 219 single mothers aged 15–49 years. Cumulative incidence graphs and Fine and Gray’s competing risk models were used to delineate the timing of a second premarital birth and its socio-demographic correlates.

Results

More than one-third of single mothers in 16 countries have had a second premarital birth in their reproductive life. We also observed that more than 15% of the single mothers in Angola, Benin, the Republic of Chad, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Uganda, have had another premarital birth three years after the first. The incidence of a second premarital birth was significantly lower among women with secondary or higher education, compared to women with less than secondary education (p < 0.05) in most countries. Residence in an urban area compared to rural, was also significantly associated with a low incidence of second premarital birth in 10 countries (p < 0.05).

Conclusions

Findings indicate a rapid progression to having a second premarital birth in some sub-Sahara African countries, particularly among socio-economically disadvantaged women. The findings suggest the need for tailored interventions for improving the quality of life of single mothers, to reduce the associated burden and consequences of having a premarital birth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number185
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Demographic health survey
  • Fertility behavior
  • Non-marital childbearing
  • Premarital childbearing
  • Single motherhood
  • Sub-Sahara Africa

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