Navigating Uncertainties:Schooling and the Transition to Adulthood in Ethiopia


Young people of all developing countries experience some degree of difficulty and uncertainty as they make their transition to adulthood. In Ethiopia, a growing number of young cohorts are entering their transition life stage in rapidly changing social, economic, and political contexts often made difficult by poverty, civil wars, and political instability in the country. Children's and adolescents' school enrollment and attainment are also affected by household poverty and unexpected shocks such as drought, food insecurity, and illness and/or death of a household member. This dissertation addressed two related objectives. The first objective is to describe the pattern of transition to adulthood among young people in Ethiopia in the past twenty years, and to explain the changing pattern in terms of political, economic and social changes. The second objective is to examine how household poverty, negative household shocks, and access to and quality of school affect current school enrollment, dropouts, and attainment among school-age children. The data used for this analysis come from the 1984 and the 1994 population censuses of Ethiopia, and the 2004 nationally representative welfare monitoring survey. To identify and describe changes in the transition to adulthood, I employed an entropy analysis on transition status combinations from three synthetic cohorts constructed from the three datasets. Multivariate statistical analyses are used to investigate key determinants of schooling outcomes among children and adolescents. The result revealed some important population level changes in the transition to adulthood over the past twenty years. Recent rapid expansion in school enrollment has played a key role in delaying the timing of transition to adulthood, but this secular change has also been influenced by period-specific economic and political disruptions. Household wealth and parental education significantly increase child's school enrollment and attainment. Unexpected household shocks such as food shortage, job loss, and illness or death of household member increases the likelihood of school dropout. Lack of access to school and poor school quality significantly decrease the chance of enrollment and increase the risk of dropout in rural areas.
Thesis (Ph.D. -- Brown University (2010)

Access Conditions

In Copyright
Restrictions on Use
Collection is open for research.


Admassu, Kassahun A., "Navigating Uncertainties:Schooling and the Transition to Adulthood in Ethiopia" (2010). Sociology Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.