Prenatal development in rural South Africa: relationship between birth weight and access to fathers and grandparents

Cunningham, Solveig Argeseanu, Elo, Irma T., Herbst, Kobus and Hosegood, Victoria (2010) Prenatal development in rural South Africa: relationship between birth weight and access to fathers and grandparents. Population Studies: A Journal of Demography, 64, (3), 229-246. (doi:10.1080/00324728.2010.510201). (PMID:20954098).


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Birth weight is an indicator of prenatal development associated with health in infancy and childhood, and may be affected by the family environment experienced by the mother during pregnancy. Using data from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, we explore the importance of the mother's access to the father and grandparents of the child during pregnancy. Controlling for household socio-economic indicators and maternal characteristics, the survival and residence of the biological father with the mother are positively associated with birth weight. The type of relationship seems to matter: married women have the heaviest newborns, but co-residence with a non-marital partner is also associated with higher birth weight. Access to the maternal grandmother may also be important: women whose mothers are alive have heavier newborns, but no additional benefit is observed from residing together. Co-residence with any grandparent is not associated with birth weight after controlling for the mother's partnership

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/00324728.2010.510201
ISSNs: 0032-4728 (print)
1477-4747 (electronic)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences
ePrint ID: 181347
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
November 2010Published
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2011 10:20
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:36
Centre for Population Change: Understanding Population Change in the 21st Century
Funded by: ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (RES-625-28-0001)
Led by: Jane Cecelia Falkingham
1 January 2009 to 31 December 2013

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