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Trends in adolescent first births in five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean: disaggregated data from demographic and health surveys

Trends in adolescent first births in five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean: disaggregated data from demographic and health surveys
Trends in adolescent first births in five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean: disaggregated data from demographic and health surveys
Background: adolescents in the Latin American and Caribbean region continue to experience poor reproductive health outcomes, including high rates of first birth before the age of 20 years. Aggregate national level data fails to identify groups where progress is particularly poor. This paper explores how trends in adolescent births have changed over time in five countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Peru) using data disaggregated by adolescent age group, wealth and urban / rural residence.

Methods: the study draws on Demographic and Health Survey data from five countries where three surveys are available since 1990, with the most recent after 2006. It examines trends in adolescent births by wealth status and urban/rural residence.

Results: there has been little progress in reducing adolescent first births over the last two decades in these countries. Adolescent first births continue to be more common among the poorest and rural residents, and births among the youngest age-group (< 16 years) are particularly concentrated among these populations.

Conclusion: adolescent first births continue to be a major issue in these five countries, including amongst the youngest group (< 16 years), although the contexts in which it is occurring are changing over time. Efforts are needed to expand sexual education and services for adolescents and young people, as well as introduce and enforce legislation to provide effective protection from abuse or exploitation. Greater disaggregation of adolescent fertility data is needed if we are to measure progress towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals to “leave no-one behind”.
Adolescent, sexual health, Latin America, maternal health
1742-4755
Neal, Sarah
2b63ebf7-1cf9-423d-80a2-bd99a759f784
Harvey, Chloe, Mercedes
e69b10a8-85f5-4eeb-9932-4e92a59a097c
Chandra-Mouli, Venkatraman
35234274-1c30-4a20-8a1b-edb3363321ac
Caffe, Sonja
3fe7ffc2-0590-4685-bd83-7a2b57dbf24e
Camacho, Alma Virginia
ce1a7251-be8d-49ed-867a-cff0718fd1e4
Neal, Sarah
2b63ebf7-1cf9-423d-80a2-bd99a759f784
Harvey, Chloe, Mercedes
e69b10a8-85f5-4eeb-9932-4e92a59a097c
Chandra-Mouli, Venkatraman
35234274-1c30-4a20-8a1b-edb3363321ac
Caffe, Sonja
3fe7ffc2-0590-4685-bd83-7a2b57dbf24e
Camacho, Alma Virginia
ce1a7251-be8d-49ed-867a-cff0718fd1e4

Neal, Sarah, Harvey, Chloe, Mercedes, Chandra-Mouli, Venkatraman, Caffe, Sonja and Camacho, Alma Virginia (2018) Trends in adolescent first births in five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean: disaggregated data from demographic and health surveys. Reproductive Health, 15 (146). (doi:10.1186/s12978-018-0578-4).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: adolescents in the Latin American and Caribbean region continue to experience poor reproductive health outcomes, including high rates of first birth before the age of 20 years. Aggregate national level data fails to identify groups where progress is particularly poor. This paper explores how trends in adolescent births have changed over time in five countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Peru) using data disaggregated by adolescent age group, wealth and urban / rural residence.

Methods: the study draws on Demographic and Health Survey data from five countries where three surveys are available since 1990, with the most recent after 2006. It examines trends in adolescent births by wealth status and urban/rural residence.

Results: there has been little progress in reducing adolescent first births over the last two decades in these countries. Adolescent first births continue to be more common among the poorest and rural residents, and births among the youngest age-group (< 16 years) are particularly concentrated among these populations.

Conclusion: adolescent first births continue to be a major issue in these five countries, including amongst the youngest group (< 16 years), although the contexts in which it is occurring are changing over time. Efforts are needed to expand sexual education and services for adolescents and young people, as well as introduce and enforce legislation to provide effective protection from abuse or exploitation. Greater disaggregation of adolescent fertility data is needed if we are to measure progress towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals to “leave no-one behind”.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 30 July 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 August 2018
Published date: 29 August 2018
Keywords: Adolescent, sexual health, Latin America, maternal health

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 424244
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/424244
ISSN: 1742-4755
PURE UUID: c9a7510f-4dd1-41a0-946f-a44dc10a3a0f
ORCID for Sarah Neal: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1812-7221

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Oct 2018 11:35
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:55

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Contributors

Author: Sarah Neal ORCID iD
Author: Chloe, Mercedes Harvey
Author: Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli
Author: Sonja Caffe
Author: Alma Virginia Camacho

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