Timing of first birth among black women in South Africa and its impact on schooling

Karabo E. Mhele, North-West University, South Africa

Objective of this study was to assess the impact of timing of first birth on schooling. The study compared drop-out rates among women who fell pregnant while in school against those who left school before falling pregnant. Pregnancy preceded dropped out among 58% of respondents. 79.6% of those who fell pregnant in school dropped out compared to 40% of those who fell pregnant only after leaving school. School survival function was significantly lower among in-school pregnant women. Using Cox regression model, the effect of age at first birth on the hazard of dropping out of school was estimated, controlling for other background factors. Results indicated that age at first birth was not significant. However, mother's education, grade enrolled for at pregnancy and having less than five siblings significantly reduced the hazard of dropping out, while sexual debut before age of 16 increased the hazard for dropping.

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Presented in Session 64: Consequences of fertility on child health and schooling