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Adolescent fertility and its determinants in Kenya: Evidence from Kenya demographic and health survey 2014
Authors: Naomi Monari ,James Orwa, Alfred Agwanda
Source: PLOS ONE , DOI:
Topic(s): Fertility
Reproductive health
Unintended pregnancy
Country: Africa
Published: JAN 2022
Abstract: Background: Adolescent fertility in Kenya is vital in the development and execution of reproductive health policies and programs. One of the specific objectives of the Kenyan Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH) policy developed in 2015 is to decrease early and unintended pregnancies in an attempt to reduce adolescent fertility. We aimed to establish determinants of adolescent fertility in Kenya. Methods: The Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) 2014 data set was utilized. Adolescent’s number of children ever born was the dependent variable. The Chi-square test was utilized to determine the relationship between dependent and independent variables. A Proportional-odds model was performed to establish determinants of adolescent fertility at a 5% significance level. Results: Over 40% of the adolescent girls who had sex below 17 years had given birth i.e, current age 15–17 years (40.9%) and <15 years (44.9%) had given birth. In addition, 70.7% of the married adolescents had given birth compared to 8.1% of the unmarried adolescents. Moreover, 65.1% of the adolescents who were using contraceptives had given birth compared to only 9% of the adolescents who were not using a contraceptive. Approximately 29.4% of the adolescents who had no education had given birth compared to 9.1% who had attained secondary education. Age at first sex (18–19 years: OR: 0.221, 95% CI: 0.124–0.392; 15–17 years: OR: 0.530, 95% CI: 0.379–0.742), current age (18–19 years: OR: 4.727, 95% CI: 3.318–6.733), current marital status (Not married: OR:0.212, 95% CI: 0.150–4.780), and current contraceptive use (Using: OR 3.138, 95% CI: 2.257–4.362) were associated with adolescent fertility. Conclusion: The study established that age at first sex, current age, marital status, and contraceptive use are the main determinants of adolescent childbearing. The stated determinants should be targeted by the government to control the adolescent birth rate in Kenya. Consequently, delaying the age at first sex, discouraging adolescent marriage, and increasing secondary school enrollment among adolescent girls are recommended strategies to control adolescent fertility in Kenya.