ASSESSING AND INTERPRETING BIRTH SPACING GOALS IN COSTA RICA

Citation data:

Journal of Biosocial Science, ISSN: 0021-9320, Vol: 30, Issue: 2, Page: 181-191

Publication Year:
1998
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Repository URL:
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=10115&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S0021932098001813; http://hdl.handle.net/10669/14012
DOI:
10.1017/s0021932098001813
Author(s):
Rosero Bixby, Luis
Publisher(s):
Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Tags:
Social Sciences; Costa Rica; fecundación; natalidad; Salud pública
article description
A procedure for assessing birth spacing goals, an important component of fertility preferences, is proposed and applied to 1993 Costa Rican data. Based on a reverse or backward survival analysis, preferred birth intervals are estimated to range between 3.5 and 4.5 years (1.5 years for the interval union to first birth). These intervals are 2 or 3 years shorter than crude estimates from data on open or last closed intervals, which are upwardly biased by selection and left censoring effects. To achieve these spacing preferences, a cohort must spend about two-thirds of the time using contraception (one-third in the interval union to first birth). An inverse association between desired family size and desired birth interval is evident only in parity-specific analyses. Couples may use contraception in order to stop childbearing once they have borne their desired number of children and/or to lengthen birth intervals. A procedure for assessing birth spacing goals is proposed and applied to data collected in the 1992-93 Costa Rican Reproductive Health Survey (ESR). The ESR is a nationally representative, Demographic and Health Survey-type survey of approximately 3600 women aged 15-49 years. Based upon backward survival analysis, preferred birth intervals are estimated to range between 3.5 and 4.5 years, 2-3 years shorter than crude estimates of intervals using data on open or last closed intervals, which are upwardly biased by selection and left censoring effects. To achieve these spacing preferences, couples must spend about 40% of their time using contraception. An inverse relationship was identified between desired family size and desired birth interval in only parity-specific analyses.