Single motherhood in Ghana: analysis of trends and predictors using demographic and health survey data

Ayebeng, Castro, Dickson, Kwamena Sekyi, Seidu, Abdul-Aziz, and Amo-Adjei, Joshua (2022) Single motherhood in Ghana: analysis of trends and predictors using demographic and health survey data. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 9. 345.

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The rising rate of single-mother families has gained scholarly and policy attention. Understanding the dynamics in the socio-economic and demographic transformations that have led to the relatively high single-mother families in Ghana is important to advance policy and intervention to mitigate adverse effects of single motherhood. The study sought to examine the trends and predictors of single motherhood in Ghana from 1993 to 2014. This paper was based on data from the last five waves of the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. Descriptive statistics of proportions with Chi-square test and binary logistic regression were used to assess individual and contextual factors associated with single motherhood in Ghana. The proportion of single motherhood increased significantly over the period from 14.1% in 1993 to 19.5% in 2014. Premarital birth emerged as the major pathway to single motherhood. Among individual factors, the likelihood of single motherhood declines as age at first sex [OR = 0.58; 95% CI = 0.48,0.70] and first birth [OR = 0.43; CI = 0.32,0.59] were 25 years and above. Also, Contraceptive users were less likely to be single mothers than non-users. Contextually, women who profess Islam [OR = 0.58; 95% CI = 0.46, 0.74] were less likely to be single mothers than women who had no religious affiliation. We observed that, after accounting some important factors, women with higher economic status—richer [OR = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.59,0.96] and richest [OR = 0.57; 95% CI = 0.31,0.56] were less likely to be single mothers than poorest women. The findings give an impression of single mothers being over-represented among economically poor women. Policies and programmes meant to mitigate adverse effects of single motherhood should also focus on empowering single mothers and their children as a way of alleviating poverty and improve the well-being of children in this family type, as well as enhance Ghana’s capacity to attain the Sustainable Development Goal 1, particularly target 1.2.

Item ID: 76342
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2662-9992
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2023 05:52
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420606 Social determinants of health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200401 Behaviour and health @ 100%
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