Beliefs About Children's Illness Among Rural Guatemalan Women

by Anne R. Pebley, Elena Hurtado, Noreen Goldman

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2.7 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

This paper examines women's beliefs about the causes of childhood illness in rural Guatemala, using information from a qualitative survey. The authors focus on beliefs about the two major causes of child morbidity and mortality in developing countries: diarrhea and acute respiratory infection (ARI). Since parents' ability to prevent children's illnesses and to seek effective treatment depends in part on their beliefs about the causes of these illnesses, increased knowledge related to parents' beliefs about illness is necessary for a better understanding of how parents make health-related choices. In the first section of the paper, the authors briefly summarize the biomedical perspective on the causes of diarrhea and ARI in developing countries. In the second section, they summarize the findings of anthropological research on health beliefs. The third section is a discussion of the study communities and methods. The fourth section presents the authors' results.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Draft series. The unrestricted draft was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003 that represented preliminary or prepublication versions of other more formal RAND products for distribution to appropriate external audiences. The draft could be considered similar to an academic discussion paper. Although unrestricted drafts had been approved for circulation, they were not usually formally edited or peer reviewed.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.