Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study
This six-round longitudinal study aims to identify critical aspects of school quality that put adolescents who face the dual challenges of poverty and HIV/AIDS on a safer, healthier, and more productive path to adulthood. Our research seeks to uncover those aspects of schooling that will lead to more protective behaviors and lower HIV risk among young men and women.
Prior to Round 5 fieldwork, a second dissemination workshop was held in Zomba in January 2011. Population Council investigators and our collaborators at the Centre for Educational Research and Training (CERT) in Malawi welcomed representatives from the Ministry of Education, donors, and local stakeholders to review and discuss findings from the first four rounds of the longitudinal study. The meeting focused on the impact of school quality on educational outcomes.
In Round 5 (June–August 2011), we successfully interviewed a total of 2,341 participants (1,134 males, 1,207 females), a follow-up rate of 88.3% of the original R1 sample.
During 2011, we measured prevalence and incidence of HIV and HSV-2 among our sample for the second time. Among those who were tested, HSV-2 prevalence was 17.2% for males and 24.6% for females in Round 5. Among those tested in both Round 4 and Round 5, 5.2% of males and 7.0% of females seroconverted between rounds. HIV prevalence is still low among our study population: 1.0% for males and 4.7% for females. Incidence of new HIV infections between Round 4 and Round 5 was 0.5% for males and 1.1% for females tested in both rounds. Approximately 15% of males and females refused to be tested for one or both biomarkers in Round 5.
A new qualitative module was completed during Round 5, funded by the University of Wisconsin. The in-depth interviews examined the social and material resources that influence how young mothers make decisions about their children's health. Using the Round 4 sample as a frame, we randomly selected 60 female respondents with at least one surviving and coresident child and stratified the sample by cell phone ownership, selecting 30 respondents who live in households that own a cell phone and 30 from households that do not. These data will complement the existing birth history, which collects demographic and health information about all children born to the respondent.
Findings from the Round 4 qualitative in-depth interviews informed the refinement of our quantitative survey questions on gender attitudes, power in intimate relationships, and girls' agency in Round 5. Also in Round 5, we added to the social capital section of the face-to-face questionnaire a series of questions on cell phone use. The new module provides a better picture of cell phone ownership/access, uses of cell phones, and expenditure on air time.
|Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6 and beyond|
Location: Malawi (Balaka and Machinga districts)
Poverty, Gender, and Youth
Duration: 1/2007 - 4/2015
Ann Biddlecom (Alan Guttmacher Institute)
Chris Sudfeld (Invest in Knowledge/Harvard Humanitarian Initiative)
Johanna Rankin (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)
Joseph P.G. Chimombo (CERT, University of Malawi, Zomba)
Linda Kalilani-Phiri (College of Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre)
Monica J. Grant (Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin)
Mphatso Mwpasa (Invest in Knowledge, Malawi)
Newton Kumwenda (Malawi College of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Research Project, Blantyre)
Peter C. Fleming (Invest in Knowledge, Malawi)
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Spencer Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
UK Department for International Development