ADVANTAGES

I take advantage of a unique longitudinal data set including information on individuals, their households, and communities collected over a 16-year period (1984–2000) to explore these issues. These data represent a significant improvement over those used in prior research in this area because they are both longitudinal and prospective. This perspective enables disentangling the independent effects of contemporaneous and longitudinal contextual environments on current behavior. In addition, a very detailed exploration can also be undertaken of the behavioral influences of past context, which is contingent upon individual experiences with migration. The results of the analyses suggest that in this setting, contraceptive choices are influenced by community context (past and present) and that the effects of these choices differ. In addition, the results indicate that the effect of past context is mediated by individual life experiences, particularly migration to urban areas.

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