Teen Pregnancy in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Application of Social Disorganisation Theory

Sibusiso Mkwananzi, University of the Witwatersrand

Teenage or adolescent pregnancy is noted as a major public health and demographic problem with medical, psychological, social and demographic implications. While different theories have been tested in existing studies, the theory of social disorganisation has not been applied in investigating teenage pregnancy. The social disorganisation theory is an example of an ecological framework and posits that crime is not randomly distributed, but occurs more frequently in ‘bad’ neighbourhoods than in ‘good’ neighbourhoods (Shaw and McKay; 1942). Using this theory and DHS surveys of eleven countries, we modelled females aged 15-19 with multilevel logistic regression to explore teenage pregnancy in West, East and Southern Africa. Teenage pregnancy was associated with family disruption at household level. Additionally, teenage pregnancy was associated with community levels of poverty and unemployment. Therefore, the study increases the understanding of teenage pregnancy within SSA regions.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Fertility Intentions and Behaviors