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Is Bridewealth Payment Associated with Shorter Birth Intervals?

Adriana A. Biney, University of Ghana
Naa Dodua Dodoo, University of Ghana
Maame Peterson, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Ghana
Charlotte Ofori, Regional Institute for Population Studies, Univeristy of Ghana
Nurudeen Alhassan, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)
F. Nii-Amoo Dodoo, Regional Institute for Population Studies, University of Ghana

The median age at first birth has steadily increased and suggests postponement of fertility in Ghana. Reasons for these reproductive behavior changes include economic, political and socio-cultural factors. Bridewealth payment is one socio-cultural practice that we hypothesize as influencing shorter timing to first birth and birth intervals. We used the women’s file and birth file from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey to assess these relationships. Results indicate that at the multivariate analysis stage, bridewealth payment was not significantly associated with a shorter birth gap (between women’s first cohabitation and first birth) and birth intervals. Rather, partner’s education predicted shorter birth gaps, while birth order, previous child’s survival, age, ethnicity, household wealth, respondent’s and partner’s education and age differences were associated with shorter birth intervals. Further studies may provide evidence to feed into the on-going discussion on lengthening of birth intervals and the postponement of births in sub-Saharan Africa.

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session P1. Poster Session 1