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Household structure and childhood mortality in Ghana: Monitoring progress on the Millennium Development Goals

Winfred A. Avogo, Illinois State University
Victor Agadjanian, Arizona State University

This study examines household structures and the living arrangements of children and its effects on child mortality using data pooled from the Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys. Results from discrete-time hazard models indicate that net of socio-economic, bio-demographic and maternal health utilization factors, children in nuclear family arrangements have lower odds of child mortality than those in three generational and laterally extended households. Results from rural and urban areas suggest that while household structure significantly predicts childhood mortality in rural areas, the same significant effect is not found in urban areas, where education and standards of living significantly predict child mortality. This study is situated within the framework of biological and behavioral causes of childhood mortality and takes a critical look at New Household Economics models in predicting childhood mortality. Some policy implications as they pertain to galvanizing efforts towards achieving the UN millennium development targets are discussed.

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Presented in Session 59: The changing role of women in African families