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Family Instability and Early Initiation of Sexual Activity in Western Kenya

Listed author(s):
  • Rachel Goldberg

    ()

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    Epidemiological, economic, and social forces have produced high levels of volatility in family and household structure for young people growing up in sub-Saharan Africa in recent decades. However, scholarship on the family to date has not examined the influence of this family instability on young people’s well-being. The current study employs unique life history calendar data from Western Kenya to investigate the relationship between instability in caregiving and early initiation of sexual activity. It draws on a body of work on parental union instability in the United States, and examines new dimensions of family change. Analyses reveal a positive association between transitions in primary caregiver and the likelihood of early sexual debut that is rapidly manifested following caregiver change and persists for a short period. The association is strongest at early ages, and there is a cumulative effect of multiple caregiver changes. The results highlight the importance of studying family stability in sub-Saharan Africa, as distinct from family structure, and for attention to dimensions such as age and recency. Copyright Population Association of America 2013

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s13524-012-0150-8
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    Article provided by Springer & Population Association of America (PAA) in its journal Demography.

    Volume (Year): 50 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 725-750

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:2:p:725-750
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-012-0150-8
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

    Web page: http://www.populationassociation.org/

    Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/13524

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