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Title: Exploring the links between women's work and child nutritional status in rapidly developing economies : the cases of Brazil and India
Author: Bispo Amaral, Stephanie
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 2667
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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The association between maternal work and child malnutrition is a long studied topic that has been revisited in developed countries due to the concern with the increasing rates of childhood overweight alongside increased female labour force participation (FLFP). Emerging countries, such as Brazil and India, have experienced pronounced economic growth, with different outcomes in terms of work opportunities for women, social development, and child nutrition. However, there is a lack of information about how maternal work relates to child nutrition in these contexts. This thesis explores changes in FLFP in Brazil and India and investigates the effects of maternal work on child stunting and overweight. Two waves of the Demographic and Health Surveys were used for each country, allowing comparisons of associations over time, using a sample of mothers and their children younger than 60 months. Multilevel models were estimated to examine child stunting, followed by separate analysis for each country. In India, a matching procedure was used to eliminate selection bias between working and non-working mothers; in Brazil, structural equation modelling was used to understand the mechanisms linking maternal work to child’s BMI. Given the different contexts of Brazil and India, the effect of FLFP went in opposite directions by year and in its effect on child nutrition. In India, the increased likelihood of child stunting when the mother worked was related to poverty. In Brazil, maternal work was associated with increased food availability, which reduced stunting, but also increased child BMI. Stratified analysis highlighted the importance of maternal education for better work opportunities, the importance of the partner and family members in dividing childcare responsibilities, and the importance of policies that provide employment rights and support childcare for working mothers. These can minimize the negative effects of the constraints on maternal-child time experienced by working mothers, while at the same time contributing to economic growth and social development, of which FLFP and child’s health are direct contributors.
Supervisor: Channon, Andrew ; Nestel, Penelope ; Guntupalli, Aravinda M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available