Maternal education and child health: Is there a strong causal relationship?
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Using data from the first round of Demographic and Health Surveys for 22 developing countries, we examine the effect of maternal education on three markers of child health: infant mortality, children s height-for-age, and immunization status. In contrast to other studies, we argue that although there is a strong correlation between maternal education and markers of child health, a causal relationship is far from established. Education acts as a proxy for the socioeconomic status of the family and geographic area of residence. Introducing controls for husband’s education and access to piped water and toilet attenuate the impact of maternal education on infant mortality and children’s height-for-age. This effect is further reduced by controlling for area of residence through the use of fixed-effects models. In the final model. maternal education has a statistically significant impact on infant mortality and height-forage in only a handful of countries. In contrast. maternal education remains statistically significant for chidren’s immunization status in about one-half of the countries even after individual-level and community-level controls are introduced.
- Basu, A.M. 1994. “Maternal Education, Fertility and Child Mortality: Disentangling Verbal Relationships.” Health Transition Review 4:207–15.
- Benefo, K. and A. Parnell. 1991. “The Determinants of Breast-feeding Practices in Ghana,” Pp. 475–96 in Proceedings of the Demographic and Health Surveys World Conference, Vol. 1. Columbia, MD: lRD/Macro International, Inc.
- Bicego, G.T. and J.T. Boerma. 1991. “Maternal Education and Child Survival: A Comparative Analysis of DHS Data.” Pp.177–204 in Proceedings of the Demographic and Health Surveys World Conference, Vol. 1. Columbia, MD: IRD/Macro International, Inc.
- Boerma, J.T., A.E. Sommerfelt, and S.O. Rutstein. 1991. Child Morbidity and Treatment Patterns. DHS Comparative Studies, No.4. Columbia, MD: IRD/Macro International, Inc.
- Boerma, J.T., A.E. Sommerfelt, S.O. Rutstein, and G.T. Bicego. 1990. Immunization: Levels, Trends and Differentials. DHS Comparative Studies, No.1. Columbia, MD: IRD/Macro International, Inc.
- Brockerhoff, M. 1990. “Rural-to-Urban Migration and Child Survival in Senegal. Demography 27:601–15. CrossRef
- Caldwell, J.C. 1979. “Education as a Factor in Mortality Decline: An Examination of Nigerian Data.” Population Studies 33:395–413. CrossRef
- —. 1994. “How is Greater Maternal Education Translated Into Lower Child Mortality?” Health Transition Review 4:224–29.
- Caldwell, J.C. and P. Caldwell. 1993. “Women’s Position and Child Mortality and Morbidity in Less Developed Countries.” Pp.122–39 in Women’s Position and Demographic Change, edited by N. Federici, K.O. Mason, and S. Sogner. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Chamberlain, G. 1980. “Analysis of Covariance With Qualitative Data.” Review of Economic Studies 47:225–38. CrossRef
- Cleland, J. 1990. “Maternal Education and Child Survival: Further Evidence and Explanations.” Pp. 399–419 in What We Know About the Health Transition: The Cultural, Social and Behavioural Determinants of Health, Vol. I. edited by J. Caldwell, S. Findley, P. Caldwell, G. Santow, J. Braid, and D. Broers-Freeman. Canberra: Health Transition Center, The Australian National University.
- Cleland, J., G. Bicego, and G. Fegan. 1991. “Socio-Economic Inequalities in Childhood Mortality: The 1970’s Compared With the 1980’s.” Pp. 135–54 in Proceedings of the Demographic and Health Surveys World Conference, Vol. 1. Columbia, MD: IRD/ Macro International, Inc.
- Cleland, J. and G. Kaufmann. 1993. “Education, Fertility and Child Survival: Unravelling the Links.” Paper presented at the workshop of International Union for Scientific Study of the Population, held in Barcelona, November 10–14.
- Fine, P.E.M. 1988. “BCG Vaccine Against Tuberculosis and Leprosy.” British Medical Bulletin 44:691–703.
- Greene, W.H. 1993. Econometric Analysis. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.
- Hobcraft, J. 1993. “Women’s Education, Child Welfare and Child Survival: A Review of the Evidence.” Health Transition Review, 3:159–175.
- —. 1994. The Health Rationale for Family Planning: Timing of Births and Child Survival. United Nations Population Division, ST/ESA/SER.A/141. New York: United Nations.
- Hobcraft, J.N., J.W. McDonald, and S.O. Rutstein. 1984. “Socio-economic Factors in Infant and Child Mortality: A Cross National Comparison.” Population Studies 38: 193–223. CrossRef
- Huber, P.J. 1967. “The Behavior of Maximum Likelihood Estimates Under Non-Standard Conditions.” Pp. 221–33 in Proceedings of the Fifth Berkeley Symposium in Mathematical Statistics and Probability. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
- Kunstadter, P. 1995. “Community, Household and Parental Factors in Rapid Improvement of Infant Survival: Preliminary Analysis of Changes Among Hamong in Thailand.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of Population Association of America, San Francisco, April 6–8.
- Martorell, R. and J.P. Habicht. 1986. “Growth in Early Childhood in Developing Countries.” Pp. 241–62 in Human Growth: A Comprehensive Treatise, Vol. 3, edited by F. Falkner and J. Tanner. New York: Plenum Press.
- Mensch, B., H. Lentzner, and S.H. Preston. 1985. Socioeconomic Differentials in Child Mortality in Developing Countries. New York: Department of International Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations.
- Palloni, A. 1981. “Mortality in Latin America: Emerging Patterns.” Population and Development Review 7:623–49. CrossRef
- Palloni, A. and M. Tienda. 1986. “The Effects of Breastfeeding and Pace of Childbearing on Mortality at Early Ages.” Demography 12:31–52. CrossRef
- Pebley, A.R. 1993. “Goals of the World Summit for Children and their Implications for Health Policy.” Pp. 170–96 in The Epidemiological Transition: Policy and Planning Implications for Developing Countries, edited by J.N. Gribbles and S.H. Preston. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
- Preston, S. and M. Haines. 1991. Fatal Years: Child Mortality in Nineteenth-Century America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
- Schultz, T.P. 1993. “Returns to Women’s Education.” Pp. 51–99 in Women 50 Education in Developing Countries: Barriers, Benefits and Policies, edited by E. King and M.A. Hill. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Stewart, J., B.M. Popkin, D.K. Guilkey, lS. Akin, L. Adair, and W. Flieger. 1991. “Influences on the Extent of Breast-Feeding: A Prospective Study in the Philippines.” Demography 28:181–200. CrossRef
- The World Bank. 1993. World Development Report 1993: Investing in Health. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Victora, C.G., et al. 1993. “International Differences in Clinical Patterns of Diarrhoeal Deaths: A Comparison of Children from Brazil, Senegal, Bangladesh and India.” Journal of Diarrhoeal Disease Research 11:25–29.
- Maternal education and child health: Is there a strong causal relationship?
Volume 35, Issue 1 , pp 71-81
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors