Reproductive Life Histories and Grip Strength in Indonesia: 1993-2014

Tiziana Leone , LSE
Heini E. Vaisanen, University of Southampton
Firman Witoelar, SurveyMETER

Reproductive histories put a burden on women’s health. Pregnancies regardless of the outcome, as well as pregnancy and post-partum complications are known to create stress on bodies at least in the short term. So far the evidence on the impact of fertility on general health later on in life is mixed with low parity having a positive protective effect and no real significant effect on higher parities. There is a lack of studies taking into account pregnancies not ending in live births. Furthermore, this evidence is usually related to countries with low fertility and high standards of maternal health. We need to understand how decades of high fertility and high maternal morbidity and mortality in a low-income setting might have affected women’s health. Using latent class models to analyse the first five waves of the Indonesian Family life Survey (IFLS) the aim of this study is to study the impact of cumulative reproductive histories on ageing, as indicated by grip strength later on in life. Preliminary results show a negative impact of the reproductive burden with terminations (spontaneous or induced) being the most significant factor. This study is set within the greater need to understand how high fertility might affect the ageing process of women in a low-income setting

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 Presented in Session 113. Life Course Influences on Physical and Mental Health