Parent's socio-economic status and social support as risks for child mortality : consideration of health equity in The Gambia
Ratcliffe, Amy, Halton, Kate, Coleman, Rosalind, Sowe, Maimuna, & Walraven, Gijs (2005) Parent's socio-economic status and social support as risks for child mortality : consideration of health equity in The Gambia. In INDEPTH Network, . (Ed.) Measuring Health Equity in Small Areas - Findings From the Demographic Surveillance Systems. Ashgate Publishing, Abingdon, UK, pp. 109-125.
A matched case-control study of mortality to children under age five was conducted to consider associations with parents' socio-economic status and social support in the Farafenni Demographic Surveillance Site (DSS). Cases and controls were selected from Farafenni DSS, matched on date of birth, and parents were interviewed about personal resources and social networks. Parents with the lowest personal socio-economic status and social support were identified. Multivariate multinomial regression was used to consider whether the children of these parents were at increased risk of either infant or 1-4 mortality, in separate models using either parents' characteristics. There was no benefit found for higher SES or better social support with respect to child mortality. Children of fathers who had the poorest social support had lower 1-4 mortality risk (OR=0.52, p=0.037). Given that socio-economic status was not associated with child mortality, it seems unlikely that the explanation for the link between father's social support and mortality is linked to resource availability. Explanations for the risk effect of father's social ties may lie in decision-making around health maintenance and health care for children.
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