Factors influencing mother's age at first birth among adolescent mothers in Uganda
Ndagire, Gloria Kasozi
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The study investigated factors influencing the mother’s age at first birth in Uganda. The researcher’s aim was to ascertain what the impact the various factors had on mother’s age at firs birth among adolescent mothers in Uganda. The 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) women recode dataset was analysed. The weighted sample size was 8051 girls or women aged 15-19. The independent variable was mother’s age at first birth. The data was organized, analysed and presented using a quantitative technique that is Pearson correlation that was used as a basis by establishing association between the variables such as religion, age, marital status, contraception use and mother’s age at first birth. The study revealed that majority of the adolescent mothers had a first birth at 18 years (23.9%) and the least at 15 years (11.8%). 24.8% of the adolescent mothers divorced had a first birth at the age of 18, 30.5% of adolescent mothers had a first birth while in secondary+ at the age of 19, 25.6% of those with no education at the age of 17 and 24.4% of those with primary education at the age of 17. The bivariate analysis and Chi square test that were used showed that there existed a significant relationship between woman’s age and education level and mother’s age at first birth.. 22.9% of the adolescent mothers were widows by the time they had their first birth at the age of 19. and 24.6% of them had their first birth while never in union at the age of 17. Many adolescents in Uganda especially those in rural areas and are not enrolled into school are at a high risk of giving birth in their early ages. The illegal practices done by parents to their adolescent girls that is to say early marriages contributes to the rise in the mother’s age at first birth. There’s need toput up policies and strengthen the already existing policies and programs that improve higher educational attainment for adolescents, policies should integrate reproductive health programmes with information on sexuality targeting young people and programmes set should emphasize on the health advantages of delaying childbearing and increase the socio-economic status of adolescents in Uganda.