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Maternal Work and Child-Care Strategies in Peri-Urban Guatemala: Nutritional Effects

Patrice L. Engle
Child Development
Vol. 62, No. 5 (Oct., 1991), pp. 954-965
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1131145
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1131145
Page Count: 12
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Maternal Work and Child-Care Strategies in Peri-Urban Guatemala: Nutritional Effects
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Abstract

Associations of 293 mothers' work for earnings and child-care arrangements with the anthropometric status of their children were examined in urban Guatemala. It was hypothesized that during the period of life in which growth often falters (8 through 35 months), maternal employment could be beneficial for children. Informal workers tended to be poorer, less educated, and have more undernourished children than formal workers or nonworkers. When poverty and mother's education were controlled for, no effects of maternal employment on children's anthropometric growth patterns were seen. However, the percent of the family income the mother earned was positively associated with all anthropometric indicators, controlling for confounds. Children taken care of by preteen siblings had significantly lower weight for height than those in other situations, even controlling for SES and maternal employment status. These effects were not found in a 36-48-month-old sample.

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