Maternal Household Decision-Making Autonomy and Adolescent Education in Honduras
Maternal decision-making autonomy has been linked to positive outcomes for children’s health and well-being early in life in low- and middle-income countries throughout the world. However, there is a dearth of research examining if and how maternal autonomy continues to influence children’s outcomes into adolescence and whether it impacts other domains of children’s lives beyond health, such as their education. The goal of this study was to determine whether high maternal decision-making was associated with school enrollment for secondary school-aged youth in Honduras. Further, we aimed to assess whether the relationships between maternal autonomy and school enrollment varied by adolescents’ environmental contexts and individual characteristics such as gender. Our analytical sample included 6579 adolescents ages 12–16 living with their mothers from the Honduran Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2011–2012. We used stepwise logistic regression models to investigate the association between maternal household decision-making autonomy and adolescents’ school enrollment. Our findings suggest that adolescents, especially girls, benefit from their mothers’ high decision-making autonomy. Findings suggest that maternal decision-making autonomy promotes adolescents’ school enrollment above and beyond other maternal, household, and regional influences.
KeywordsMaternal decision-making autonomy Adolescence Girls Education Latin America Honduras Demographic and Health Surveys
The authors wish to thank Dr. Erin Murphy-Graham for providing contextual information on the current educational experience in Honduras and helpful comments on an early draft of the manuscript. This research received support from the grants, T32HD007081, Training Program in Population Studies, and R24HD042849, Population Research Center, awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
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