Influence of Spousal Age Difference on Fertility: A Study on Married Adolescent Girls in Bangladesh

Mohammad Amirul Islam, Bangladesh Agricultural University

High spousal age difference influences the timing of pregnancy and has serious reproductive health consequences, especially among the married adolescent girls. This study investigates this using Bangladesh DHS 2007. More than 43% of the married adolescents were aged less than 18 years, the legal age at marriage for girls in Bangladesh. About 22.3% of the adolescents had spousal age difference 5 years or less. Another 49.3% had spousal age difference between 6-10 years. A Poisson regression model revealed that spousal age difference has significant influence on fertility. The relative risk of having children among adolescent girls with spousal age difference less than or equal to 5 years was 0.554 compared to the adolescents with spousal age difference more than 15 years. The relative risk increased to 0.730 and 0.835 respectively for spousal age differences between 6-10 and 11-15 years. Other predictors of fertility were wealth index, husband’s education, and religion.

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Presented in Poster Session 4