Unplanned childbearing in Kenya: the socio-demographic correlates and the extent of repeatability among women

Soc Sci Med. 2003 Jan;56(1):167-78. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(02)00018-7.


Unplanned pregnancies account for a substantial proportion of births in Kenya and can have a variety of negative consequences on individual women, their families, and the society as a whole. This paper examines the correlates of mistimed and unwanted childbearing in Kenya, with special focus on the extent of repetitiveness of these events among women. A multilevel multinomial model is applied to the 1993 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey data. The results show that unplanned childbearing in Kenya is associated with a number of factors, including urban/rural residence, region, ethnicity, maternal education, maternal age, marital status, birth order, length of preceding birth interval, family planning practise, fertility preference and unmet need for family planning. In addition to these factors, women who have experienced an unplanned birth are highly likely to have a repeat occurrence.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Birth Rate*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Culture
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Family Planning Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology
  • Pregnancy / ethnology*
  • Prenatal Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Probability
  • Recurrence
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Socioeconomic Factors