Adolescent childbearing in the south and east shores of the Mediterranean Basin

Sutay Yavuz, Ankara University

South and East shores of the Mediterranean basin have undergone significant social, economic and political changes. Although this process of modernization has had a profound impact on individuals’ lives as designating their social environment, social norms still strongly prescribe marriage and to have at least one child. The first birth has a significant role in the future life of each individual. When these transitions occur in adolescent ages, they have far-reaching individual and social consequences. The present study aims to gain further insights into the specificities of the recent fertility decline in South and East Shores of the Mediterranean Basin by looking through determinants of adolescent childbearing behavior in the three emblematic countries of this region: Morocco, Egypt and Turkey. Because although recent general fertility trends have been well documented through analysis of demographic sample surveys adolescent reproductive behavior have not been examined extensively in these countries. The analysis aim to gain insight how and to what extent first birth progression among adolescents is conditioned by their individual and household level characteristics. The study will be based on retrospective survey data: Morocco Demographic and Health Survey (MDHS) 2003/04, Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) 2005, and Turkey Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS) 2003. The empirical part of analysis is based on proportional-hazard (or intensity regression) models and will estimate the hazard of timing of first birth in adolescent ages (before age 20) after controlling the effects of various characteristics of adolescents. As study intends to understand the reasons behind variations in early childbearing among countries, it will try to identify potential policy factors decrease adolescent childbearing.

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Presented in Session 75: Marriage and fertility