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Teenage childbearing and school dropout in a sample of 18,791 single mothers in Cameroon

Abstract : Background Adolescent childbearing increases the risk of adverse health and social consequences including school dropout (SDO). However, it remains unclear why some teenage mothers drop out of school and others do not, especially in sub-Saharan Africa settings. We aimed to investigate the background and behavioral characteristics of single mothers, associated with school dropout in a sample of 18,791 Cameroonian girls, who had their first child during adolescence. Methods We used data from a national registry of single mothers, collected during the years 2005–2008 and 2010–2011. Both bivariate analysis and logistic binary regression models were used to explore the relationship between adolescence motherhood and SDO controlling for a range of socio-economic, family, sexual and health seeking behavior characteristics. Results Among the 18,791 single mothers, 41.6% had dropped out of school because of pregnancy. The multivariable regression model showed that SDO was more common in those who were evicted from their parental home (aOR: 1.85; 95% CI: 1.69–2.04), those who declared having other single mothers in their family (aOR: 1.16; 95% CI 1.08–1.25) and in mothers who had their first child before 15. Using modern contraceptive methods, having declared no sexual partner during the last year and having less than 2 children were associated with a reduced likelihood of school dropout. Conclusions Strong social support is essential to ensure school continuity in this vulnerable population. Dropping out of school may put the teenage mother more at risk of unsafe health behaviour and new pregnancies.
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https://hal-cnam.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03622607
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Submitted on : Tuesday, March 29, 2022 - 10:37:25 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 5:56:00 AM
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Joëlle Sobngwi-Tambekou, Marthe Tsague-Agnoux, Léopold Fezeu, Flavien Ndonko. Teenage childbearing and school dropout in a sample of 18,791 single mothers in Cameroon. Reproductive Health, BioMed Central, 2022, 19 (1), pp.10. ⟨10.1186/s12978-021-01323-4⟩. ⟨hal-03622607⟩

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