Krishna Kumar Pandey, Mritunjay Pal Singh, R D Singh

A Study of Maternal Status, Household Structure and Children’s Nutritional Status in India

Krishna Kumar Pandey, Mritunjay Pal Singh, R D Singh

Article information

Volume: X Issue: 1, Pages: 77-90
Krishna Kumar Pandey, Mritunjay Pal Singh, R D Singh
Banaras Hindu University, Department of Statistics, Varanasi, India


Almost half (48 per cent) of the children under five years of age are stunted in India. Stunting and other forms of under-nutrition are thought to be responsible for nearly half of all child deaths globally. Understanding the factors that contribute to high prevalence of stunting is important for child development and child survival.
This study examines the maternal and household determinants of stunting, using data from the 2005-06 National Family Health Survey (NFHS). Sample consists of 45,378 children who were born within the five years preceding the survey and whose mothers were interviewed at the time of survey. Analyses focus on children age 0-59 months whose weight and height were measured at the time of survey. Descriptive statistics (frequency and percentages) was used to describe the data. The logistic regression model also makes it possible to predict the stunting among children.
Our results show that rural children were more likely to be stunted (50.7%) as compared to their urban counterparts (39.9%). After controlling education and wealth index, no other maternal and household variables are significantly associated with stunting for rural sample. The lowest probability (39%) of stunting was observed for children living in the urban area, whose mother have secondary/higher education and in the highest wealth index group.
Educated women were more likely to realize the benefits of healthy eating habit of children; therefore their children were less likely to be stunt. Children living in the rural area and those in the poorer wealth quintile were more disadvantaged.

Keywords: education, wealth, income, nuclear family and stunting


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