Notas de Población

1681-0333 (online)
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La Revista Notas de Población es una publicación del Centro Latinoamericano y Caribeño de Demografía (CELADE), cuyo propósito principal es la difusión de investigaciones y estudios de población sobre América Latina, aun cuando recibe con particular interés artículos de especialistas de fuera de la región y, en algunos casos, contribuciones que se refieren a otras regiones del mundo.

La maternidad adolescente en el contexto de la migración internacional: el caso de Costa Rica You do not have access to this content

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Heidi Ullmann
31 Dec 2013
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Adolescent maternity and international migration are two crucial issues in Central America, yet few studies have considered the interplay between them. With a view to doing so, this study examines differences in adolescent maternity among Nicaraguan immigrants and Costa Rican adolescents using data from the most recent Costa Rican census. The study has three primary objectives. Firstly, to estimate the prevalence of adolescent maternity among women aged 15 to 19 years residing in Costa Rica. The second is to ascertain whether this is the result of a selection process by comparing non-migrant adolescents in Nicaragua and Nicaraguan immigrants in Costa Rica, with special attention to factors associated with fertility, such as education, age and marital status. The third objective is to compare Nicaraguan immigrants, according to their length of residence in Costa Rica, with Costa Rican adolescents and to determine, using a multivariate logistic regression model, whether immigrants are more likely to become adolescent mothers. The results suggest that the prevalence of adolescent maternity in Costa Rica has declined over the last decade. There appears to be a selection process among Nicaraguan immigrants since they are, on average, older than their counterparts residing in Nicaragua when they have children and are more likely to be married or in a union when they do so. There is also a higher prevalence of adolescent maternity among Nicaraguan immigrants to Costa Rica than among their compatriots who remain in Nicaragua. Although the prevalence of adolescent maternity in Costa Rica is generally low, it is markedly higher among Nicaraguan immigrants than their Costa Rican peers. However, differences are found among immigrants depending on how long they have lived in Costa Rica. The results from the multivariate logistic regression analysis show that adolescent maternity is less prevalent among recent immigrants than among Costa Rican adolescents, but more prevalent among less recent immigrants than among their Costa Rican counterparts. Thus, while a process of selection may exist whereby Nicaraguan adolescents emigrating to Costa Rica are more likely to be mothers than those who stay in Nicaragua, it is also likely that the challenges and situations of vulnerability encountered in Costa Rica put them at an increased risk of pregnancy and limit their ability to prevent pregnancy or mitigate its effects once it occurs. This paper contributes to the ongoing debate on adolescent maternity and international migration by providing a more updated and nuanced picture of adolescent maternity among immigrants in the context of South-South migration.