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Open Access The effect of family structure on a sample of malnourished urban Nigerian children

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This study focused on the role of family structure in 458 malnourished children under five years of age clinically diagnosed with protein-energy malnutrition (PEM), kwashiorkor, and marasmus. The majority of these children were of higher birth order (3rd child and higher): 63.2% based on the mother's parity and 56.4% based on the father's parity. More than half (54.8%) of the malnourished children's mothers were the first wives of their respective husbands. About 43.9% of the children's fathers were urban danfo (public minibus transport) drivers. Half (51.5%) of the mothers who claimed to be single opted into single status and were mostly from polygamous households, but 87.6% of the children were from polygamous families, of which 18.6% of the mothers had divorced. Only 27.7% of the children lived with both parents; 40.4% lived with their grandparents, and 37.8% were the financial responsibility of their grandparents. We observed an association between children treated for malnutrition and father's occupation, parents' marital status, mothers' seniority among other wives, and source of financial responsibility for the children.


Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: June 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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