Spousal Communication and Fertility-Related Decisions: A Case Study of Western and Coast Provinces, Kenya

George O. Odwe, University of Nairobi
Anne Khasakhala, University of Nairobi

Abstract The paper examines the extent to which spousal communication influences reproductive health decisions in two provinces of Kenya. Data for analysis is derived from couple data collected in the Kenya Demographic and Heath Survey 2008-9 and supplemented by in-depth interviews and focus group discussions from two districts within the two provinces. Bivariate analysis was employed to assess the association between background variables and a measure of spousal communication-discussion of FP. Transcripts from qualitative data were imported into the Atlas.ti software for ease of analysis. Results indicate that spousal communication is a crucial factor in determining levels of fertility and contraceptive use in the two provinces. Qualitative data highlights obstacles to spousal communication on childbearing and use of family planning for the two areas under study and should therefore be considered in fertility reduction strategies.

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Presented in Session 147: Partners and Contraceptive Use