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The Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study: Key Findings 2007-2011

20th September 2013 3pm, University of Southampton 58/2097

Christine Kelly, Population Council

The Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study (MSAS) is a longitudinal study designed and administered by the Population Council, in conjunction with local research partners, since 2007. It 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. The MSAS baseline sample comprised 2,650 male and female adolescents aged 14-16 in January 2007; two-thirds of participants were attending primary grades 4-8 when first interviewed and the remainder were not enrolled in school. Respondents were resident in Balaka and Machinga, two contiguous districts in the Southern region of the country characterized by comparatively early marriage and high HIV prevalence. I will discuss key findings from the first five rounds of the MSAS, using data collected yearly from 2007-2011. These analyses explore relationships between school absenteeism and menstruation, gender and learning retention, adolescent pregnancy and educational outcomes, and schooling and sexually transmitted infection status, among other topics. I will also present results from methodological work assessing the validity of self-reported sexual behavior data.