An Assessment of the Consistency between Sibling Histories and Birth Histories in Sub-Saharan Africa

Bruno Masquelier, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

Sibling histories are increasingly being used to develop estimates of adult and maternal mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper, data on siblings collected in DHS are compared with information on the children of women of the preceding generation, both at the aggregate and individual level. Firstly, the mean sibship size declared by women in DHS is compared with the average number of children ever born reported in earlier surveys. Contrary to a common assumption, declines in the number of siblings by respondents' age are not necessarily a sign of larger recall errors by older respondents. Secondly, in a subsample of DHS, sibling histories of young women aged 15 to 17 who reside with their mother are evaluated against birth histories reported by these mothers. Mothers-daughters inconsistencies are frequent. Overall, daughters tend to report fewer siblings than expected from data from their mothers, but more recent adult deaths.

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Presented in Poster Session 5