Cohabitation and its implications on marital stability and first birth : a case of the central region of Uganda
This thesis is a study of cohabitation and its implications on marital stability and first birth in Central Uganda using micro-survey data collected in the study area using retrospective methods. The study also investigated the nuptiality patterns and differentials in Uganda using data from five rounds of the Uganda Demography and Health Surveys collected in 1988, 1995, 2001, 2006 and 2011 from women aged 15 to 49 and men aged 15 to 54. The results of this study have confirmed a declining trend in marriage and a rising pattern in cohabitation. The data seem to support the view that over time, marriage as a social institution could be weakening. The study also found the increase in the singulate mean age at first marriage from 20 in 1988 to 21 years in 2011 among women and from 23 in 1995 to 25 years in 2011 among men. Based on the micro-survey data collected in the study area that used retrospective methods, the study examined the predictors and prevalence of cohabitation as a form of first union. The results found a higher proportion of women (77%) beginning their first union by cohabiting. The logistic analysis revealed that within categories of variables, significant determinants were: being of primary and secondary education, being brought-up by parents that were married, and having the attitude of advising peers to cohabit as a transition to marriage. However, the study found a lower likelihood of cohabiting among women affiliated to Islam and the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The results of the proportional hazard model found that the risk of union dissolution for women who married directly compared to those who married after cohabitation increased by nearly 5 times and by 13 times for women who were cohabiting. Having given birth to three or more children in union reduced the risk of union dissolution for women in the study sample. The effect of cohabitation on the timing of a first birth showed no evidence that marriage after cohabitation influenced the time to a first birth. Notwithstanding the type of marriage (married directly, married after cohabitation or still at cohabiting stage), over 80% of the women in the study population had a first birth by the end of the second year following first union. The results also confirmed that over time marrying directly accelerated entry into motherhood.
- Humanities