Factors influencing adolescent fertility in Lesotho
Mabeleng, Tshenolo Irene
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Adolescence is a period in the life cycle during which females experience major transitions characterized by physical, psychological, emotional and sexual changes. During this period, adolescents seek new personalities and discover their sexuality which sometimes leads to unwanted pregnancy and early childbearing or marriage. These challenges are common in many sub-Saharan African countries including Lesotho. The objectives of the study were to observe the relationship between socio-economic factors and adolescent fertility, to investigate the influence of demographic and cultural factors on adolescent fertility in Lesotho and to recommend appropriate policy and program interventions to reduce adolescent fertility. The 2014 Lesotho Demographic and Health Survey (LDHS) was used in the study. The 2014 LDHS interviewed 6621 women of childbearing age groups for the purpose of this study, 713 adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 years were used. Descriptive statistics were used to describe variables and Multivariate Logistic regression procedures were also used to examine the relationship between socio-economic and demographic factors on one hand and children ever born on the other. The study revealed that fertility is higher among women with primary education than women with secondary and higher education. The main factors that play a very significant role in impacting fertility among adolescents in Lesotho are educational level; type of place of residence; frequency of watching television s and marital status. The results of the study confirm what is been discussed in the literature. Determinants of fertility as indicated in other studies are more similar to factors identified in this study. It was established that high level of education, type of place of residence and marital status are determinants that contribute to fertility among adolescents. It is recommended that young girls should be empowered through education and life skills as well as improving family planning and reproductive health awareness aimed at both men and women.
- Humanities