Associations Between Orphan and Vulnerable Child Caregiving, Household Wealth Disparities, and Women’s Overweight Status in Three Southern African Countries Participating in Demographic Health Surveys

Mariano Kanamori, Olivia D. Carter-Pokras, Sangeetha Madhavan, Sunmin Lee, Xin He, Robert H. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines whether orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) primary caregivers are facing absolute household wealth (AWI) disparities, the association between AWI and women’s overweight status, and the modifying role of OVC primary caregiving status on this relationship. Demographic Health Surveys data (2006–2007) from 20 to 49 year old women in Namibia (n = 6,305), Swaziland (n = 2,786), and Zambia (n = 4,389) were analyzed using weighted marginal means and logistic regressions. OVC primary caregivers in Namibia and Swaziland had a lower mean AWI than other women in the same country. In Zambia, OVC primary caregivers had a lower mean AWI score than non-primary caregivers living with an OVC but a higher mean AWI score than non-OVC primary caregivers. In Swaziland and Zambia, even small increases in household wealth were associated with higher odds for being overweight regardless of women’s caregiving status. Only in Namibia, OVC primary caregiving modified the effect of the previous association. Among Namibian OVC primary caregivers, women who had at least medium household wealth (4 or more AWI items) were more likely to be overweight than their poorest counterparts (0 or 1 AWI items). OVC primary caregivers are facing household wealth disparities as compared to other women from their communities. Future studies/interventions should consider using population-based approaches to reach women from every household wealth level to curb overweight in Swaziland and Zambia and to focus on specific household wealth characteristics that are associated with OVC primary caregivers’ overweight status in Namibia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1662-1671
Number of pages10
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Volume19
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 24 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Africa south of the Sahara
  • Caregivers
  • Economic factors
  • Overweight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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