The Association Between Household and Community Single Motherhood and Adolescent Pregnancy in South Africa

  • Sibusiso MkwananziEmail author


This study investigated the independent association of single motherhood at both household- and community-levels with adolescent pregnancy. A sample of 14,232 female adolescents aged 10–19 years was obtained from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 South African General Household Surveys (GHS). These data were analysed using descriptive statistics and multilevel binary logistic regression with Stata. Interaction terms were also tested. Findings showed that living in a single motherhood household increased the average odds of adolescent pregnancy as did high levels of single motherhood within communities in the adjusted models. Significant interaction was found between both household and community single motherhood variables and education, poverty and household sex composition, after adjusting for other variables. These results highlight the important need for supporting households headed by single mothers. This need arises from an independent association as well as the added risk that occurs when single motherhood occurs in the presence of school non-attendance and poverty. Early pregnancy prevention programmes and awareness campaigns for females growing up in homes and environments with greater levels of single motherhood are encouraged in order to ensure the sexual and reproductive health of young females in South Africa.


Single motherhood Adolescent pregnancy South Africa Multilevel modelling Community and household level factors 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Demography and Population StudiesUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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