Levels and Correlates of Single Motherhood in Southern Africa

Chidimma M. Mbanefo, University of the Witwatersrand
Clifford O. Odimegwu, University of the Witwatersrand
Nwamaka C. Nwogwugwu, University of the Witwatersrand

Globally, families are changing from two parent’s family to one parent family giving rise to the emergence of single motherhood. Studies have shown that single motherhood is associated with poverty and negative child outcome. This study examines the levels and factors associated with single motherhood in Southern Africa using the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) datasets for the three countries of study: Zimbabwe 2010-2011, Swaziland 2006-2007 and Lesotho 2009 for women in the reproductive age groups 15-49. The theoretical arguments draw on a number of demographic and socioeconomic factors that may promote single motherhood. Our findings revealed that single motherhood is higher among younger and rural women. Regarding the respondents background characteristics, we found that Age and number of living children showed strong association with single motherhood across the countries of study, while religion showed no association. The implications of the study and specific suggestions for further research are proposed.

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Presented in Poster Session 5