HIGHER SPOUSAL AGE DIFFERENCE CAUSES HIGHER AND EARLIER FERTILITY AMONG ADOLESCENT GIRLS: AN EVIDENCE FROM BANGLADESH DEMOGRAPHIC AND HEALTH SURVEY

M A Islam, F Misu and S M Sayem
Journal of the Sylhet Agricultural University, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2016, Pages 67-73

Abstract:

Higher spousal age difference may sometimes instigate dominancy by husbands in different reproductive health decisions, especially when the wives are much younger, leading to unfavorable health outcomes. This study aims to investigate the likely effects of higher spousal age difference on fertility behavior among married adolescent girls in Bangladesh using Demographic and Health Survey 2007. It is hypothesized that adolescents with comparatively older husbands tend to get more children and have children earlier than their counterparts. Alongside bi-variate analysis this research employs binary logistic regression and Poisson regression models to identify the determinants of different fertility behaviors. About 43 % of the adolescents were married before the legal age (18 years) at marriage for girls in Bangladesh. About 22.3 % of the adolescents had spousal age difference 5 years or less. Almost half (47 %) of the married adolescents have their first child within one year of marriage. Poisson regression model suggested that the relative risk of having children among adolescent with spousal age difference 5 years or less was 0.554 compared to the adolescents with spousal age difference more than 15 years. The relative risk increased to 0.730 for spousal age difference between 6 – 10 years. Binary logistic regression model suggested that adolescents having spousal age difference 16 years and above were 3.227 times significantly more likely to have their first child within one year of their marriage compared to adolescents having spousal age difference 5 years or less. This study confirms that higher spousal age difference influences both timing and number of birth among married adolescents, hence recommends for special interventions.

Keywords:

Adolescents, fertility, logistic regression, poisson regression, spousal age difference


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M A Islam, F Misu and S M Sayem. 2016. HIGHER SPOUSAL AGE DIFFERENCE CAUSES HIGHER AND EARLIER FERTILITY AMONG ADOLESCENT GIRLS: AN EVIDENCE FROM BANGLADESH DEMOGRAPHIC AND HEALTH SURVEY, Journal of the Sylhet Agricultural University 3(1): 67-73.