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Individual religious affiliation, religious community context and health in Mozambique

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This dissertation examines associations between religious affiliation, religious community context and health of women and their children in Mozambique focusing on the following issues: (1) attending prenatal consultations and delivering children in a health facility; (2) women's symptoms of STDs;

This dissertation examines associations between religious affiliation, religious community context and health of women and their children in Mozambique focusing on the following issues: (1) attending prenatal consultations and delivering children in a health facility; (2) women's symptoms of STDs; and (3) under-five mortality. Estimation of random intercept Poisson regression for the outcome about attending prenatal consultations demonstrated a favorable effect of affiliation to Catholic or Mainline Protestant and Apostolic religious groups. The concentration of Zionist churches in the community had a negative influence. Random intercept logistic regression was used to estimate the relationship between religion and institutional child delivery. Affiliation to Catholic or Mainline Protestant denominations as well as concentration of Catholic or Mainline Protestant churches in the community had some beneficial effect on giving birth in health clinics. The presence of Zionist churches in the community had some negative effect and that of other groups no significant influence. Random intercept logistic regression was also employed for investigating the influence of religion on women's symptoms of STDs. Belonging to the Catholic or Mainline Protestant church had some protective effect on reporting symptoms of STDs. There was no effect of religious context, except that the concentration of Other Pentecostal churches had a positive effect on reporting symptoms of SDTs. Event-history analysis was conducted for examining relationships between maternal religious affiliation with under-five mortality. Affiliation to Catholic or Mainline Protestant churches and to Apostolic denominations increased the odds of child survival, although, the influence of having a mother belonging to Catholic or Mainline Protestant churches lost statistical significance after accounting particularly for the average level of education in the community, for the period of 5 years preceding the survey date. Taken together, the results in this dissertation show some protective effect of religion that varies primarily by denominational group to which women are affiliated. They also indicate that religious community context may have some negative effect on health of women and children. The nature of the effect of religious community context varies with the type of outcome considered and the type of religious mixture in the community.

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2011

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The consequences of male seasonal migration for women left behind: the case of rural Armenia

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Despite the extensive research on the consequences of migration, little is known about the effects of seasonal migration on fertility, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases in the countries of former Soviet Union, that have undergone vast demographic changes in the

Despite the extensive research on the consequences of migration, little is known about the effects of seasonal migration on fertility, contraception and sexually transmitted diseases in the countries of former Soviet Union, that have undergone vast demographic changes in the last two decades. Using cross-sectional data from two surveys conducted in Armenia in 2005 and 2007, this dissertation is exploring the effects of seasonal migration on reproductive behavior and outcomes, as well as sexual health among women left-behind. The dissertation is constructed of three independent studies that combined draw the broad picture of the consequences of seasonal migration in this part of the world. The first study, "Seasonal migration and fertility in low-fertility areas of origin" looks at the effect of seasonal migration on yearly pregnancy rates, lifetime fertility, and fertility preferences among women and their husbands. The models are fitted using discrete-time logistic regression, and random-intercept logistic regression for negative binomial and binary outcomes, correspondingly. The findings show that seasonal migration in low-fertility settings does not further disrupt fertility levels in a short-, or long-run, contradicting to the findings from high-fertility settings. However, the study provides some evidence that seasonal migration is associated with increased fertility preferences among migrant men. The second study, "Seasonal migration and contraception among women left-behind", examines the associations between migration and modern contraceptive use, by looking at current contraceptive use and the history of abortions. A series of random-intercept logistic regression models reveal that women with migrant partners are significantly less likely to use modern contraceptives, than women married to non-migrants. They also have higher rates of abortions; however this effect is moderated by the socioeconomic status of the household. The third study, "Seasonal migration and risks of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among women left-behind", looks at the effects of seasonal migration on the diagnosed STDs in the last three years, and self reported STD-like symptoms in the last twelve months. The results of random-intercept logistic regression for negative binomial and binary outcomes provide strong evidence of increased STD risks among migrants' wives; however, this effect is also moderated by the household income.

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2011

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AIDS education and women's autonomy: the prevention of sexual contraction and spread of HIV/AIDS in Mozambique

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The AIDS epidemic has tremendously impacted the population of Mozambique. The rate of newly infected young women continues to grow disproportionately which is why consideration of health interventions specific to this population to combat the spread of the disease is

The AIDS epidemic has tremendously impacted the population of Mozambique. The rate of newly infected young women continues to grow disproportionately which is why consideration of health interventions specific to this population to combat the spread of the disease is critical. The Health Belief Model emphasizes the importance of self efficiency in the process of health related behavioral changes. Previous research has found that low levels of autonomy increase one's risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. This research uses data from a study conducted in 2006 in Mozambique to test whether higher levels of autonomy are associated with the practice of self protective behaviors related to the contraction of HIV/AIDS. Results suggest that some measures of autonomy such as education are positively associated with the practice of self protective behaviors. However, higher levels of decision making powers were negatively associated with the practice of self protective behaviors.

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2011

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Female Microaggressions Scale (FeMS): A Comprehensive Sexism Scale

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Overt forms of sexism have become less frequent (Swim Hyers, Cohen & Ferguson, 2001; Sue & Capodilupo, 2008). Nonetheless, scholars contend that sexism is still pervasive but often manifests as female microaggressions, which have been defined as often subtle, covert

Overt forms of sexism have become less frequent (Swim Hyers, Cohen & Ferguson, 2001; Sue & Capodilupo, 2008). Nonetheless, scholars contend that sexism is still pervasive but often manifests as female microaggressions, which have been defined as often subtle, covert forms of gender discrimination (Capodilupo et al., 2010). Extant sexism scales fail to capture female microaggresions, limiting understanding of the correlates and consequences of women’s experiences of gender discrimination. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to develop the Female Microaggressions Scale (FeMS) based on an existing theoretical taxonomy and content analysis of social media data, which identifies diverse forms of sexism. Two separate studies were conducted for exploratory factor analysis (N = 582) and confirmatory factor analysis (N = 325). Exploratory factor analyses supported an eight-factor, correlated structure and confirmatory factor analyses supported a bifactor model, with eight specific factors and one general FeMS factor. Overall, reliability and validity of the FeMS (general FeMS and subscales) were mostly supported in the two present samples of diverse women. The FeMS’ subscales and body surveillance were significantly positively correlated. Results regarding correlations between the FeMS subscales and anxiety, depression, and life satisfaction were mixed. The FeMS (general FeMS) was significantly positively correlated with anxiety, body surveillance, and another measure of sexism but not depression or life satisfaction. Furthermore, the FeMS (general FeMS) explained variance in anxiety and body surveillance (but not depression, self-esteem, or life satisfaction) above and beyond that explained by an existing sexism measure and explained variance in anxiety and depression (but not self-esteem) above and beyond that explained by neuroticism. Implications for future research are discussed.

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2018