Population Association of America Annual Meeting
31 March–2 April 2011
"Meanings and timing of leaving home for young people in the slums of Nairobi"
Thaddaeus Egondi, Donatien Beguy, Caroline Kabiru, Kanyiva Muindi, and Chi-Chi Undie
The act of leaving the parental home is an important marker of the transition to adulthood. Studies on the dynamics of residential independence among young people have focused mostly on northern societies. Little is known about this phenomenon in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper explores residential independence among adolescents in two informal settlements in Nairobi to assess the predictors of timing of first move to independent residence and meaning of and reasons for home leaving. We use baseline data collected in 2007/2008 from a prospective cohort of young people aged 12–22 years. Cox proportional hazards models are used to assess determinants of timing of independent residence, and data from a qualitative study were used to explore meaning of and reasons for home leaving. Leaving home is an important event because of its consequences and interdependencies with other markers of the transition to adulthood. We find an association between independent living and risk behavior.
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