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Social transmission and the spread of modern contraception in rural Ethiopia.

Alvergne A, Gurmu E, Gibson MA, Mace R - PLoS ONE (2011)

Bottom Line: Socio-economic development has proven to be insufficient to explain the time and pace of the human demographic transition.Shifts to low fertility norms have thus been thought to result from social diffusion, yet to date, micro-level studies are limited and are often unable to disentangle the effect of social transmission from that of extrinsic factors.Using a model comparison approach, we found that individual socio-demographic characteristics (e.g. parity, education) and a religious norm are the most likely explanatory factors of temporal and spatial patterns of contraceptive uptake, while the role of person-to-person contact through either friendship or spatial networks remains marginal.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Anthropology, University College London, London, United Kingdom. a.alvergne@ucl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Socio-economic development has proven to be insufficient to explain the time and pace of the human demographic transition. Shifts to low fertility norms have thus been thought to result from social diffusion, yet to date, micro-level studies are limited and are often unable to disentangle the effect of social transmission from that of extrinsic factors. We used data which included the first ever use of modern contraception among a population of over 900 women in four villages in rural Ethiopia, where contraceptive prevalence is still low (<20%). We investigated whether the time of adoption of modern contraception is predicted by (i) the proportion of ever-users/non ever-users within both women and their husbands' friendships networks and (ii) the geographic distance to contraceptive ever-users. Using a model comparison approach, we found that individual socio-demographic characteristics (e.g. parity, education) and a religious norm are the most likely explanatory factors of temporal and spatial patterns of contraceptive uptake, while the role of person-to-person contact through either friendship or spatial networks remains marginal. Our study has broad implications for understanding the processes that initiate transitions to low fertility and the uptake of birth control technologies in the developing world.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Risk of contraceptive uptake across time: main predictors.(a) Parity (number of living children). (b) Religious group. The risk of contraceptive uptake increases by 40% with each additional child. As compared to Muslims, Orthodox Christians show a 80% decrease in the risk of contraceptive uptake. The relationships are controlled for age, age2, social status, cohort, education and marital status.
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pone-0022515-g003: Risk of contraceptive uptake across time: main predictors.(a) Parity (number of living children). (b) Religious group. The risk of contraceptive uptake increases by 40% with each additional child. As compared to Muslims, Orthodox Christians show a 80% decrease in the risk of contraceptive uptake. The relationships are controlled for age, age2, social status, cohort, education and marital status.

Mentions: Model ranking reveals that the best model to account for contraceptive uptake (Akaike weight  = 0.49, Table S2) includes the number of living children (parity: OR  = 1.43; 95%CI [1.28; 1.62], Fig. 3a), the level of education (OR  = 2.16; 95%CI [1.53; 3.03]), while controlling for age, age2 and marital status (polygynous as compared to monogamous: OR  = 1.22; 95%CI [0.85; 1.77]) and cohort effects (OR  = 2.80; 95%CI [1.82; 4.34]). The number of children deceased and the amount of material wealth have no influence on contraceptive uptake while the number of living sons has a marginal positive effect (OR  = 1.54; 95%CI [0.99; 2.41]), suggesting that sons are preferred over girls (Table S3). That material wealth is independent form contraceptive uptake is intriguing, as it has been shown to have effects, either positive [41] or negative [38] in other studies.


Social transmission and the spread of modern contraception in rural Ethiopia.

Alvergne A, Gurmu E, Gibson MA, Mace R - PLoS ONE (2011)

Risk of contraceptive uptake across time: main predictors.(a) Parity (number of living children). (b) Religious group. The risk of contraceptive uptake increases by 40% with each additional child. As compared to Muslims, Orthodox Christians show a 80% decrease in the risk of contraceptive uptake. The relationships are controlled for age, age2, social status, cohort, education and marital status.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3142194&req=5

pone-0022515-g003: Risk of contraceptive uptake across time: main predictors.(a) Parity (number of living children). (b) Religious group. The risk of contraceptive uptake increases by 40% with each additional child. As compared to Muslims, Orthodox Christians show a 80% decrease in the risk of contraceptive uptake. The relationships are controlled for age, age2, social status, cohort, education and marital status.
Mentions: Model ranking reveals that the best model to account for contraceptive uptake (Akaike weight  = 0.49, Table S2) includes the number of living children (parity: OR  = 1.43; 95%CI [1.28; 1.62], Fig. 3a), the level of education (OR  = 2.16; 95%CI [1.53; 3.03]), while controlling for age, age2 and marital status (polygynous as compared to monogamous: OR  = 1.22; 95%CI [0.85; 1.77]) and cohort effects (OR  = 2.80; 95%CI [1.82; 4.34]). The number of children deceased and the amount of material wealth have no influence on contraceptive uptake while the number of living sons has a marginal positive effect (OR  = 1.54; 95%CI [0.99; 2.41]), suggesting that sons are preferred over girls (Table S3). That material wealth is independent form contraceptive uptake is intriguing, as it has been shown to have effects, either positive [41] or negative [38] in other studies.

Bottom Line: Socio-economic development has proven to be insufficient to explain the time and pace of the human demographic transition.Shifts to low fertility norms have thus been thought to result from social diffusion, yet to date, micro-level studies are limited and are often unable to disentangle the effect of social transmission from that of extrinsic factors.Using a model comparison approach, we found that individual socio-demographic characteristics (e.g. parity, education) and a religious norm are the most likely explanatory factors of temporal and spatial patterns of contraceptive uptake, while the role of person-to-person contact through either friendship or spatial networks remains marginal.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Anthropology, University College London, London, United Kingdom. a.alvergne@ucl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
Socio-economic development has proven to be insufficient to explain the time and pace of the human demographic transition. Shifts to low fertility norms have thus been thought to result from social diffusion, yet to date, micro-level studies are limited and are often unable to disentangle the effect of social transmission from that of extrinsic factors. We used data which included the first ever use of modern contraception among a population of over 900 women in four villages in rural Ethiopia, where contraceptive prevalence is still low (<20%). We investigated whether the time of adoption of modern contraception is predicted by (i) the proportion of ever-users/non ever-users within both women and their husbands' friendships networks and (ii) the geographic distance to contraceptive ever-users. Using a model comparison approach, we found that individual socio-demographic characteristics (e.g. parity, education) and a religious norm are the most likely explanatory factors of temporal and spatial patterns of contraceptive uptake, while the role of person-to-person contact through either friendship or spatial networks remains marginal. Our study has broad implications for understanding the processes that initiate transitions to low fertility and the uptake of birth control technologies in the developing world.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus