The Influence of Infant and Child Mortality on Fertility in Bohol Province

by Julieta A. Jimeno, Master of Arts in Demography (1979)

The study is a systematic attempt to study the relationship between infant and childhood mortality and fertility in Bohol province. Data utilized were obtained from three evaluation studies conducted by the Bohol Maternal and Child Health Family Planning Project in the northwestern half of the province. Multiple Classification Analysis (MCA) was employed to determine the effect of infant and child deaths on the subsequent fertility, contraceptive behavior, and fertility intentions of women.

The study analyzed levels and patterns of fertility and mortality in Project area. In general, existing socio-economic conditions – low family income, low schooling, and low level of living – tend to promote high fertility and high mortality.

Bivariate and multivariate analyses showed a clear relationship between infant and child mortality and fertility. Most of the relationships can be accounted for by the increased opportunity for infant and child deaths resulting from increase in numbers of births. It appears that it is fertility that causes mortality, there was no clear evidence that mothers replaced children who died early in life. The findings indicate that the death of at least one of the woman’s first three births was associated with fewer subsequent births. Women with no child deaths ended up with larger family sizes compared to women with one or two child deaths.

There was also no association found between the experience of child deaths and use of contraception nor desire for additional children of women.