Relationship between paternal involvement and child malnutrition in a rural area of Vietnam
Author: Tran, Bich Huu
Source: Food & Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 29, Number 1, March 2008 , pp. 59-66(8)
Abstract:Background. Malnutrition is a public health problem in Vietnam. Child health and the status of women have been targets for various health programs in the country. In general, reports in the literature suggest that care is positively correlated with positive nutritional status of children. In the household, the father is considered a resource for care. However, the role of paternal care in health programs has not received the attention it deserves.
Objective. To identify associations between the involvement of fathers in child care and housework and the nutritional status of children under 3 years of age.
Methods. This cross-sectional study was based on a random sample of 547 children under 3 years of age from intact families and their biological parents. The main outcome variable was child nutrition. Predictor variables represented two domains of father's involvement. Multivariable general linear modeling and multivariable logistic regression modeling were performed with the use of a combination of stepwise and hierarchical approaches in data analysis.
Results. The overall prevalence of underweight among children was 19.1%, and the prevalence of stunting was 14.4%. Children whose fathers did not bring them to a medical facility for immunization were about 1.7 times more likely to be underweight and stunted than those whose fathers did bring them for immunization after child's age, household economic status, and mother's education were controlled for. Father's involvement in housework was not found to be related to the prevalence of malnutrition.
Conclusions. Paternal involvement in child immunization should be encouraged by health-care providers who manage immunization programs.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-03-01
- Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation in association with the United Nations University. 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.
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