Objectives: This study examined the relationship between township-level factors and teenage birth rates from 1980 to 2005 in 359 townships in Taiwan. We also examined whether townshiplevel factors were associated with five-year and ten-year teenage birth rates. Methods: The data came from Taiwan Demography, The City and County Statistics, and Census. The study used repeated measures of township-level characteristics every 5 years from 1980 to 2005 (N=2154). We conducted bivariate analyses and used mixed models with repeated measurements and timelagged models to analyze the data. The variables included population composition (population density, the percentage of aborigines, the percentage of people over 65 years old, and divorce rates), socioeconomic status (the percentage of people with college degrees), medical and social services (the number of physicians per 10,000 people and social welfare spending), and other factors (residential mobility). Results: In the contemporary model, population density, the percentage of physicians, and the percentage of college educated people were negatively associated with teenage birth rates, whereas the percentage of elderly and the percentage of aborigines were positively associated with teenage birth rates. In the time-lagged models, after controlling for current teenage birth rates, population density, the percentage of college educated people, the percentage of elderly, and the percentage of aborigines were associated with five-year and ten-year teenage birth rates. The relationship between the percentage of divorced people and teenage birth rates was strongest in the 10-year model. Residential mobility was not significant in the contemporary model, but was significant in the 5-year and 10-year models in which higher residential mobility predicts higher teenage birth rates. Conclusions: These findings suggest that township-level social structural characteristics have more significant effects on teenage birth rates than do other township-level characteristics. Population density, the percentage of elderly, the percentage of aborigines, and the percentage of college educated people were associated with teenage birth rates in the contemporary model, the 5-year model, and the 10-year model. Future policy should focus on examination of the theoretical meaning of each township factor and improvement in regional equity as well as fulfillment of regional needs.
- Teenage birth rate
- Time-lagged model
- Township-level characteristics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health