Spatial modelling and mapping of teen birth rates in Taiwan in the period 1995-2010

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Ying-Chih Chuang
Ting-Wu Chuang
Hsing Jasming Chao
Kuo-Chien Tseng
Kun-Yang Chuang *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Kun-Yang Chuang | adinma@tmu.edu.tw

Abstract

Geographical variations in teen birth rates (TBR) still persist despite controlling for contextual factors. The aim of this research was to identify spatial patterns of TBR in Taiwan and to examine spatial relationships among different contextual factors. Using townships as the unit of analysis (N=359), this research used social and demographic variables for the years 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010 and conducted spatial modelling of TBR. Geographical maps of TBR were presented, and Local Indicator of Spatial Autocorrelations was used to identify TBR clustering. Comparisons were made between ordinary least-squares models and spatial lag models, in which township-level TBRs were regressed on other township-level contextual characteristics. Our study found that townships with a high TBR were mostly in eastern, central and some southern regions of Taiwan, while townships with a low TBR were in the vicinity of metropolitan areas. The significant spatial lag indicated that townships would have a higher expected prevalence rate if adjacent townships have had higher rates. Results also indicated that the percentage of aborigines and the percentage of college-educated people were consistently associated with TBR over the years. Interventions aimed at reducing TBR in Taiwan should consider the presence of spatial correlations and should incorporate neighbouring townships.


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