Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study
This six-round longitudinal study aims to identify critical aspects of school quality that put adolescents who face the dual challenges of poverty and HIV/AIDS on a safer, healthier, and more productive path to adulthood. Our research seeks to uncover those aspects of schooling that will lead to more protective behaviors and lower HIV risk among young men and women.
- Late starting, repetition, and temporary withdrawal all feature prominently in adolescent educational histories. On-target progression through school is associated with a lower risk of earlier premarital sex and marriage for girls.
- For Rounds 3 and 4, girls who are attending school are significantly less likely to initiate premarital sex than their peers who have recently left school. In addition, the more time that has elapsed since a girl left school, the more likely she is to initiate sex.
- Respondents' literacy and numeracy skills are associated with the reporting of sexual behavior, particularly in the case of females. Females who are literate in Chichewa and females who are numerate are less likely to report inconsistently than those who cannot read and those not considered numerate.
- Consistent with the aggregate data on HSV-2 prevalence by educational attainment, among females, prevalence is lower for those who are literate in Chichewa and English and show greater proficiency in math.
- Girls who leave school seem to face a fairly rapid loss of both literacy and numeracy skills. For boys who leave school we observe a loss of numeracy skills but not of literacy skills. Further, because girls leave school at much higher rates than boys during their adolescent years, over time we observe a gender reversal in literacy outcomes and a widening gender gap in numeracy outcomes both in favor of boys.
- Females who perceive themselves to be at risk of becoming infected with HIV are more likely to marry earlier than females who perceive no risk of future infection.
Location: Malawi (Balaka and Machinga districts)
Poverty, Gender, and Youth
Duration: 1/2007 - 4/2015
Ann Biddlecom (Alan Guttmacher Institute)
Chris Sudfeld (Invest in Knowledge/Harvard Humanitarian Initiative)
Johanna Rankin (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
Joseph P.G. Chimombo (CERT, University of Malawi, Zomba)
Linda Kalilani-Phiri (College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre)
Monica J. Grant (Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin)
Mphatso Mwpasa (Invest in Knowledge, Malawi)
Newton Kumwenda (Malawi College of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Research Project, Blantyre)
Peter C. Fleming (Invest in Knowledge, Malawi)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Spencer Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
UK Department for International Development