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Patterns of Desired Fertility and Contraceptive Use in Kuwait
Nasra M. Shah, Makhdoom A. Shah and Zoran Radovanovic
International Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 24, No. 3 (Sep., 1998), pp. 133-138
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3038210
Page Count: 6
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Context: Despite moderate levels of contraceptive use and a rapidly changing socioeconomic structure, fertility remains high in Kuwait. Little is known about what factors characterize women in a highly pronatalist society who have smaller families. Methods: Interviews were conducted from January to March 1994 with a random sample of 615 currently married, nonpregnant Kuwaiti women aged 15-49 in two of the country's five major residential areas. Regression analyses were used to determine the predictors of ideal family size, desire for another child and contraceptive use. Results: The mean ideal number of children desired by Kuwaiti women was 5.3. Fifty percent of the women were practicing contraception, mainly to space births. Forty-one percent said they wanted no more children, but only 45% of them were using a method. In comparison with non- Bedouins and women with fewer living children, Bedouins and women with more children de- sired significantly larger families and were significantly less likely to say they wanted to stop childbearing. Contraceptive use was significantly higher among non-Bedouins, women who had reached or exceeded their ideal number of children and those who had a primary or secondary education, and it rose with the number of living children and the husband's level of education. Conclusions: In a social setting that encourages high fertility, number of living children and eth- nic background are the most important factors in whether women want to stop childbearing and whether they use contraceptives, as well as in how many children they consider ideal.
International Family Planning Perspectives © 1998 Guttmacher Institute