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Social Structure and Variation in the Family Formation Process: The Case of Age at First Marriage and Duration between First Marriage and First Birth in selected sub-Saharan African Countries

Yaya, OlaOluwa S and Amoateng, Acheampong Y (2016): Social Structure and Variation in the Family Formation Process: The Case of Age at First Marriage and Duration between First Marriage and First Birth in selected sub-Saharan African Countries.

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Abstract

The present study employed the Cox proportional hazard regression model to examine the effect of select socio-demographic factors on the family formation process in five sub-Saharan African countries using the most recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) data for the respective countries. Specifically, the study examined the effects of education, residence, religion and age at first marriage on age at first marriage, age at first birth and the duration between first marriage and first childbirth in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia. On the whole, we found that Ghana has the highest median age at first marriage, while Ethiopia has the lowest median age at first marriage. Both level of urbanisation and education were inversely related to the proportion of women ever married in all five countries. While education was positively associated with age at first marriage in all five countries, it was negatively associated with duration between marriage and first birth in all the countries with the exception of Ghana. With the exception of Ghana and Nigeria, there were no statistically significant differences in the median age at first marriage between rural and urban areas in Ethiopia and Kenya; the hazard of early marriage was higher in urban than rural settings in Zambia.

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