The impact of household type on adolescent women's well-being in Kenya

Dannerbeck, Anne M.; Muriuki, Andrew
August 2007
Health Sociology Review;Aug2007, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p179
Academic Journal
Because the HIV/AIDS crisis in Kenya is causing the death and disablement of so many prime- aged adults, households are increasingly being headed by adolescents and the elderly. The purpose of this paper is to examine the health status of one of the most vulnerable groups in Kenyan society - adolescent women - and to explore how the type of household head impacts on their health status. Using data from the 2003 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS), an indicator of illness signs was used as the dependent variable for health status. Significant differences were found in the health status of adolescent women in households headed by adolescents, prime-aged adults, and the elderly. Even when controlling for demographic factors, residing in an adolescent headed household increased the odds that an adolescent woman would have recently experienced some signs of illness. Other factors which also increased the odds of illness were being married and being in the older age group (20-24). Wealth barely had any impact on illness. Service providers need to pay special attention to the needs of adolescents in non-adult headed households.


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