PSC African Demography Working Paper Series

The African Demography Working Paper Series was published by the Population Studies Center (PSC) at the University of Pennsylvania between 1980-1989. In total there were 18 papers published in this series. The papers housed in this collection function as an archive of the work done by researchers affiliated with the PSC at the time of publication that were involved in research related to African Demography.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
  • Publication
    The age pattern of infant and child mortality in Ngayokheme (rural West Africa)
    (1981-10-01) Garenne, Michel
    The paper presents and discusses the age pattern of mortality observed in Ngayokheme (Sine Saloum, Senegal). It is compared to data of other developing areas and to model life tables. Mortality at ages 1 to 4 is shown to be much higher than anywhere else where data are available. Reasons for this pattern are investigated. Emphasis is given to the epidemiological pattern, especially to diarrheal diseases and malaria and to the seasonality of mortality.
  • Publication
    Mechanisms affecting the link between nuptiality and fertility: Tanzania, 1973
    (1981-07-01) Sekatawa, Emmanuel K.
    The analytical framework proposed by Davis and Blake (1956) divides the process of reproduction into three elements: (i) exposure to the risk of pregnancy, (ii) the ability to conceive and (iii) successful gestation. This paper is concerned with the first element. Data from the 1973 National Demographic Survey of Tanzania (NDS) are used to investigate the role of marriage behavior in determining fertility levels. Coale's parameters of the age pattern of first marriage ao, k and C are translated into Im-type measures. A system of indices is developed to represent the effects of the prevalence and age patterns of first marriage, marital disruption and remarriage on fertility. Techniques for obtaining detailed information on the process of marital dissolution and subsequent remarriage are presented. The potential effects of changes in nuptia1ity patterns on fertility are discussed.
  • Publication
    Regional marriage patterns and trends in Northern Sudan
    (1989-08-01) Abdelrahman, Abdelrahman Ibrahim
    Marriage is an important institution for both individuals and society as a whole. It is a significant event in the life cycle of individuals; for society at large it represents the creation of a new unit of production, consumption, distribution and exchange of goods and services. In most comparative studies of nuptiality it has been usual to characterize sub-Saharan pattern of marriage as “early and universal”. Early and virtually continuous marriage throughout a woman's reproductive years is also maintained by several related marriage customs including polygyny, levirate marriage, and bride wealth or bride price (van de Walle, 1968;Goldman and Pebley, 1986).
  • Publication
    Postpartum sexual abstinence in tropical Africa
    (1989) van de Walle, Etienne; van de Walle, Francine
    Postpartum taboos on sexual intercourse have been encountered in many countries throughout history. They were once advocated by medical authorities in Europe. The Greek and Roman doctors of antiquity were opposed to sexual relations during nursing and their opinions were quoted until the nineteenth century. Galen (1951:29) thought that the milk of the nursing mother would be spoiled because of the admixture of sperm in the mother's blood. Soranos and Hippocrates believed that coitus and passionate behavior provided the stimulus that reactivated menstruation. Prior to the eighteenth century, there was no medical knowledge of the biological effect of bring on inence, and not the action of breastfeeding, was thought to delay the return of menses. This interpretation was still vivid in Europe in the eighteenth century.
  • Publication
    Attitudes of women and men towards contraception in Bobo-Dioulasso
    (1986-06-01) van de Walle, Francine; Traore, Baba
    The extent of knowledge and practice of contraception in African populations remains hard to evaluate and despite the great influx of data from the World Fertility Surveys, the impact of contraception on fertility levels is difficult to measure. The practice of abstinence for the purpose of spacing births is widespread in Africa. It was discussed in demographic terms already by Lorimer in 1954. More recently the Caldwells (1977, 1981), by carefully investigating the phenomenon among the Yoruba, contributed greatly to establish the place of sexual abstinence in the study of the determinants of African fertility. Lately, data from the World Fertility Survey have shown large variations in the length of post-partum abstinence between countries and among different ethnic groups. Anthropological research has thrown some light on the different functions attributed to post-partum sexual abstinence, and the different reasons for practicing it.
  • Publication
    Demographic trends in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (1986-12-01) van de Walle, Etienne; Kekovole, John
    The study of demographic trends in sub-Saharan Africa though crucial in the assessment of the impact of population size and growth on the overall socio-economic development in the region, has received the least attention due to lack of reliable data for most of the countries. This paper focuses on the utilization of available data secured through population censuses and demographic surveys particularly the World Fertility Survey to ascertain trends in fertility and mortality. The estimates derived from the above sources should be interpreted with caution since they suffer from diverse deficiencies in the data base particularly coverage, content and consistency. It is apparent, though debatable, from the available estimates that fertility has increased in some countries--Kenya and Cameroon; has remained almost stable in Benin, Ivory Coast and Lesotho; and has slightly declined in Ghana. The underlying factors with regard to the apparent increase hinge on the improvement in the socio-economic indicators i.e. education and health services; relaxation of traditional controls i.e. breastfeeding and post-partum abstinence; and a reduction in the level of sterility. As far as trends in mortality are concerned, the estimates posit a decline in both infant and child mortality in Kenya, Benin and Ivory Coast; infant mortality in Cameroon; and child mortality in North Sudan and Senegal. Overall mortality levels are high in Western and Central Africa and low in Eastern and Southern Africa.
  • Publication
    The next child: spacing strategy in Yorubaland (with translations from taped interviews)
    (1981-09-01) Adeokun, Lawrence A.
    The translations of taped interviews with Yoruba parents in two' sub-ethnic groups, the lkale and the Ekiti, are the substance of this Working Paper. Very rarely do the views expressed at the field level survive into research reports, much less reach the demographer, concerned as he or she is ultimately with aggregated analysis. Very rarely, too, does the opportunity arise for parents involved in demographic surveys to '.have en input into the development of survey concepts. They are usually faced with readymade conceptualization, definition and operationalization of phenomena closely related to their lives, and asked to respond within these limits. The convention of pre-testing questionnaires, embodying those pre-determined concepts, helps up to the point of identifying inappropriate concepts, but not those that may be most germane.
  • Publication
    Size of households in tropical Africa
    (1981-02-01) Garenne, Michel
    The paper starts with a discussion of the concepts of household and family in historical and contemporary populations and summarizes the debate about size of households. A study of the average size of households and compounds recorded by censuses and surveys in tropical Africa is done followed by a discussion of the various definitions of households. Finally an illustration is given using data collected on the Serer, an ethnic group in Senegal.
  • Publication
    The level and age pattern of mortality in Bandafassi (Eastern Senegal): results from a small-scale and intensive multi-round survey
    (1984-06-01) Pison, Gilles; Langaney, Andre
    The data collected by the Bandafassi demographic study in Eastern Senegal, a small-scale intensive and experimental follow-up survey on a population of about 7,000 inhabitants in 1983, were analyzed to derive an estimation of the life table. The use of the multi-round survey technique, combined with anthropological methods to estimate the ages or collect genealogies, results in unusually reliable data. Taking into account the uncertainty of the estimates related to the small size of the population, the measures of mortality show a high mortality level, with life-expectancy at birth close to 31 years; a pattern of infant and child mortality close to what has been observed in other rural areas of Senegal; a seasonal pattern in child mortality with two high risk periods, the rainy season and the end of the dry season; an adult mortality pattern similar to what is described in model life tables for developed countries; no significant differences according to sex or ethnic group. The example of the Bandafassi population study and of a few similar studies, suggests that one possible way to improve demographic estimates in countries where vital registration systems are defective would be to set up a sample of population laboratories where intensive methods of data collection would continue for extended periods.
  • Publication
    Modernization and the fertility transition, Egypt, 1975
    (1980-06-01) Issa, Mahmoud S. Abdou
    This study investigates regional marital fertility differentials in Egypt and their relationship to the level of modernization of the region: defined as economic development and social and cultural change. The intermediate variables (Davis and Blake, 1965) underlying these regional levels and patterns of marital fertility are determined and their relation to the level of modernization of the region is also evaluated. In order to assess the nature of the recent decline in the crude birth rate in Egypt, the long term fertility and mortality levels are discussed. The prospects of a fertility transition in Egypt are assessed in terms of the current fertility level and pattern, the extent of deliberate fertility regulation, the urban-rural fertility differential and differentials by socioeconomic status. The study draws from Easterlin's model of social and economic determinants of marital fertility as a frame of reference. The model's basic social and economic intermediate variables (denoted Cn, Cd, and CR)are evaluated, and the model's interpretations of cross-sectional marital fertility differentials by socioeconomic status and the long term fertility trend are empirically verified.