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Unintended Childbearing and Family Welfare in Rural Malawi

  • 2008-2012
  • Project
Baschieri, Angela, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Study: “Unintended Childbearing and Family Welfare in Rural Malawi”
PI(s): Baschieri, Angela
Co-PI(s): Dube, Albert; Cleland, John
Affiliation(s): London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Institutional Partner(s): ESRC
Project Dates:
Start: 2008
End: 2012
Data Source(s): Panel Data
Methods: Propensity Score Matching, IV Econometric
Geographic Location(s): Malawi

In Malawi, women on average bear about six children. One-quarter to one-third of these children are unwanted or occur sooner than desired and could thus be prevented by greater uptake of effective contraception. The key aim of this research is to assess the impact of unwanted births on family welfare. Family welfare is represented by the physical growth of children and by retention in school. In a very poor country such as Malawi, the adverse effect on family economics of an extra mouth to feed and child to rear is likely to be expressed by inadequate nutrition of children, leading to slower growth and school dropout of teenage children. This research informs the debate by conducting a study linked to an ongoing Demographic Surveillance Site (DSS) in Karonga District in Northern Malawi. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world; it is a high-fertility country, with only 26.3 percent of women using any method of contraception. The DSS data of Karonga District provide the ideal setting to study the relationship between family planning and fertility and investment in children’s schooling and nutrition.

Research Outputs:

Baschieri, Angela et al. (2013). Reproductive Preferences and Contraceptive Use: A Comparison of Monogamous and Polygamous Couples in Northern Malawi. Journal of Biosocial Science, 45(2): 145-166. DOI: 10.1017/S0021932012000569

Dube, Albert, Baschieri, Angela, Cleland, John, Floyd, Sian, Molesworth, Anna,Parrott, Fiona, French, Neil & Glynn, Judith. (2012). Fertility Intentions and Use of Contraception among Monogamous Couples in Northern Malawi in the Context of HIV Testing: A Cross-Sectional Analysis. PLOS One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051861

Fotso, Jean Christophe, Nyovani Madise, Angela Baschieri, John Cleland, Eliya Zulu, Martin Kavao Mutua, and Hildah Essendi.“Child Growth in Urban Deprived Settings: Does Household Poverty Status Matter? At Which Stage of Child Development?” Health & Place 18, no. 2 (March 2012): 375–384. DOI: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2011.12.003

Machiyama, Kazuyo et al. (2015). An Assessment of Childbearing Preferences in Northern Malawi. Studies in Family Planning, 46(2): 161-176. DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2015.00022.x

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