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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

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

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