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Moving beyond the mother-child dyad: Women's education, child immunization, and the importance of context in rural India

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  • Parashar, Sangeeta
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    Abstract

    The argument that maternal education is critical for child health is commonplace in academic and policy discourse, although significant facets of the relationship remain empirically and theoretically challenged. While individual-level analyses consistently suggest that maternal education enhances child health outcomes, another body of literature argues that the observed causality at the individual-level may, in fact, be spurious. This study contributes to the debate by examining the contextual effects of women's education on children's immunization in rural districts of India. Multilevel analyses of data from the 1994 Human Development Profile Index and the 1991 district-level Indian Census demonstrate that a positive and significant relationship exists between the proportion of literate females in a district and a child's complete immunization status within that district, above and beyond the child's own mother's education as well as district-level socioeconomic development and healthcare amenities. However, results also indicate that the effect of maternal education cannot be downplayed. Thus, increasing women's literacy at the community level, in addition to mother's access to higher education--such as matriculation and beyond--at the individual-level, emerge as effective developmental tools.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 61 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 5 (September)
    Pages: 989-1000

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:61:y:2005:i:5:p:989-1000

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    Related research

    Keywords: Women's education Child immunization India Multilevel modeling;

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    Cited by:
    1. Ana Maria Osorio & Catalina Bolancé & Nyovane Madise & Katharina Rathmann, 2013. "Social Determinants of Child Health in Colombia: Can Community Education Moderate the Effect of Family Characteristics?," Working Papers XREAP2013-02, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Mar 2013.
    2. Vikram, Kriti & Vanneman, Reeve & Desai, Sonalde, 2012. "Linkages between maternal education and childhood immunization in India," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 331-339.
    3. Yusuf, Shahid & Nabeshima, Kaoru & Wei Ha, 2007. "What makes cities healthy ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4107, The World Bank.

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