Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Dr. Chinaro Kennedy
College of Health Sciences
This is to certify that the doctoral dissertation by
has been found to be complete and satisfactory in all respects,
and that any and all revisions required by
the review committee have been made.
Dr. Chinaro Kennedy, Committee Chairperson, Public Health Faculty
Dr. Adebowale Awosika-Olumo, Committee Member, Public Health Faculty
Dr. James Rohrer, University Reviewer, Public Health Faculty
Chief Academic Officer
Eric Riedel, Ph.D.
Female genital mutilation has been a public health issue in many countries. As a result, researchers across the globe have conducted numerous studies showing that the practice is very harmful toward women's health and safety. Unfortunately, in the northwestern region of Liberia, there have been no recent empirical studies conducted regarding the danger of female genital mutilation on women's reproductive health and safety. The socio-ecological model can guide this study which outlines how environmental variables can impact the experiences of FGM. In this study, a quantitative approach was used to explore whether there were environmental factors such as parental educational attainment, parental wealth (socioeconomic), and location that affect the prevalence of female genital mutilation among girls and women in the northwestern region of Liberia. Secondary data from the 2013 Liberia Demographic Health Survey was used to analyze the multiple determinants that influenced parents and families to join the Sande Bush Society which facilitated female genital mutilation practices in the northwestern region of Liberia. The methods of analysis included chi-square for association and multiple logistic regression. The findings showed that parental wealth and parental education predicted whether females were initiated into the Sande Bush Society, resulting in female genital mutilation practices. There were no significant differences in whether parental region (suburban or rural) predicts the likelihood of initiation into the Sande Bush Society. This study provides additional information to stakeholders, policy makers, and social advocacy groups for developing and implementing laws relevant to female genital mutilation.