Teen motherhood and women’s later life outcomes: evidence from South Africa.

Godfred Anakpo, Umakrishnan Kollamparambil


Background: The pathway from teen motherhood to later life outcomes has received considerable attention in both research and political agenda. Very few studies have however, looked beyond educational and economic outcomes.

Data source and methods: This paper uses pooled data from four waves of National Income Dynamic Study (NIDS) survey collected from 2008-2014 in South Africa to investigate the impacts of early motherhood on mothers’ later life outcomes using propensity score matching and endogenous treatment techniques.

Results: The study reveals that teen motherhood reduces women’s educational attainment (by -5.2years), economic well-being (-19.9%), psychological well-being (by increasing depression score by 5.2) and life satisfaction (by -1.24) each at 0.1% significance level.

Conclusions: Teen motherhood has significant negative effects on women’s education, economic well-being, psychological well-being and life satisfaction but insignificant effect on health related outcomes. We recommend multi-sectoral policy intervention to minimize teenage pregnancy and manage the adverse consequences.


teen motherhood, early motherhood, later life outcomes, endogenous treatment regression, South Africa

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11564/33-1-1379


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