Demographic and socioeconomic correlates of infant growth in Guatemala

by Carol A. M. Clark

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Develops and tests a model of infant growth that includes socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of various mechanisms by which family size can affect growth (maternal health, food availability, child care time, and crowding). The sample consists of 301 infants (0-12 months) born 1973-1975 in four rural Spanish-speaking Guatemalan villages. A single equation OLS multiple regression analysis suggests that infant growth is related to birth interval, mother's weight and height, breastfeeding, supplementary food, child's sex, number of rooms, initial weight, and number of pregnancies, preschoolers, and adult siblings. Significance of relations vary by age (0-6 or 6-12 months). Different family size mechanisms may be important at different ages. Findings suggest some easily measured indicators of target groups for nutrition intervention. Possible interventions and the importance of timing are discussed. Data limitations and model building difficulties are outlined so they can be addressed in future model building and intervention evaluation.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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