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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Rural Sociology

First Advisor

Don Arwood


This study analyzed the direct and indirect relationships between socioeconomic and cultural factors and the fertility of Ghanaian women. The characteristics considered were education, occupation, place of residence, child fostering and communication between spouses. The indirect relationship was considered by adjusting for the following proximate variables: postpartum abstinence, duration of breastfeeding, contraceptive use, and infant/child mortality. Ghana Demographic and Health Survey data (GDHS) of 1993 were used for analysis. The results of multivariate analysis show that cumulative fertility, as measured by deviation from the average marital cohort fertility, varies significantly by education, occupation, and place of residence for both female and male. When child fostering, communication between spouses, abstinence, breastfeeding, contraceptive use, and infant/child mortality were introduced into the model, fertility varies significantly by female education, male modern sector jobs, and urban place of residence. No significant association is found between child fostering and fertility. Apart from contraceptive use, all the proximate variables are significant predictors of fertility. The findings suggest that socioeconomic factors influence fertility through abstinence, breastfeeding, and infant/child mortality. The implications of these findings are discussed. Areas for further studies are also suggested.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Fertility, Human -- Ghana
Women -- Ghana -- Social conditions
Women -- Ghana -- Economic conditions




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