Children's Nutritional Outcomes and Family Resource Transfers in Rural Malawi

Monica J. Grant, University of Wisconsin at Madison

This paper uses data from the Malawi Longitudinal Survey of Families and Households (MLSFH) to examine the association between children’s nutritional status and resource transfers to and from their households. Anthropometric data on co-resident children aged 0-5 were collected for the first time in the 2008 MLSFH. These height (cm) and weight (kg) measurements were converted into z-scores relative to the sex- and age-specific WHO 2006 international child growth standards. Preliminary analyses show an inverse relationship between the number of family and friends from whom a respondent receives non-financial assistance and the prevalence of stunting and underweight among co-resident children. In contrast, children who are co-resident with respondents who received no large financial transfers had worse nutritional outcomes relative to those who received any large transfers. Future analyses will use multilevel regression models to examine which components of extended family networks are most important for these child nutritional outcomes.

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Presented in Session 130: Family Resources and Child Health and Well-Being