Reproductive Behavior of Immigrant Latin American Women in Spain

Paula Acevedo Cantero

Abstract


The present study analyzes fertility patterns among a group of Latin-American female immigrants examining the impact of decade of birth, educational level, and migration on reproductive behavior. The study group was composed of 138 Latin-American women, aged 18 to 59 years, and residing in Spain. Menarche occurred at a mean age of 13.6 years old (sd 1.8) and the social initiation of fertility, as determined by age of first cohabitation, occurred at a mean age of 21.4 years (sd 0.4). Neither of these variables was affected by decade of birth. However, there were significant educational influences on age at first cohabitation. Women with a higher educational level showed delayed cohabitation and decreased fertility rates. On the other hand, there was in increase in the number of induced abortions after immigration to Spain seen among the youngest women. In conclusion, age at first cohabitation is an important indicator for the analysis of community demographic dynamics, although this age is conditioned by educational level. Likewise, adaptation to new social structures and situations is associated with changes in reproductive behaviors and may lead to practices among women that put their health at risk.

Keywords


Reproduction, Fertility, Immigration, Family size, Latin America, Spain, Women's Health

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Editorial Offices:

Department of Family and Social Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center
Bronx, New York, 10461

Asociación Latinoamericana de Medicina Social (ALAMES)/Latin American Social Medicine Association:
ALAMES, Southern Cone Region, Cassinoni 1440 – 802, CP 11200 Montevideo, Uruguay.
ALAMES, Mexico Region, San Jerónimo 70 – 1, Col. La Otra Banda, CP 01090, México, D.F.