Impact of Teenage Childbirth on Schooling
Yung-Ting Bonnenfant, Johns Hopkins University
Ghada S. T. Al-Attar, Assiut University
Ann Herbert, Johns Hopkins University
Background: Better family planning for adolescents could potentially increase school retention for teenage girls. Objectives: To estimate years of schooling lost as a result of teen childbirth. Methodology: Secondary analysis of DHS data from 76 countries was performed for women with at least one year of schooling using multivariate fixed effects regression. The dependent variable was years of schooling attained. The key independent variable was whether a woman experienced childbirth before age 20. Analysis was stratified by marital status as a teenager. Results: Teen childbirth was significantly associated with less schooling in about three-quarters of the countries. At least one year of schooling was lost from a teen birth in 53.4% of countries in the teen unmarried sample. Only 2.6% of countries in the teen married sample had losses of at least one year. Conclusion: Preventing unintended teen pregnancy may increase educational attainment, especially among unmarried teenagers.