Differential impact of maternal education on under-five mortality in rural and urban India

Moradhvaj, M. & K.C., S. (2023). Differential impact of maternal education on under-five mortality in rural and urban India. Health & Place 80 p. 102987. 10.1016/j.healthplace.2023.102987.

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Under-five mortality rate (U5MR) differs by rural-urban place of residence and mother's education; however, the rural-urban gap in U5MR by mother's educational attainment is unclear in the existing literature. Using five rounds of the national family health surveys (NFHS I–V) conducted between 1992–93 and 2019–21 in India, this study estimated the main and interaction effects of rural-urban and maternal education on U5MR. The mixed effect Cox proportional hazard (MECPH) model was used to predict the risk of under-five mortality (U5M). The finding shows that unadjusted U5MR remained 50 per cent higher in rural areas than in urban areas across the surveys. Whereas, after controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, and maternal health care predictors of U5M, the MECPH regression results indicated that urban children had a higher risk of death than their rural counterparts in NFHS I-III. However, there are no significant rural-urban differences in the last two surveys (NFHS IV -V). In addition, increasing maternal education levels were associated with lower U5M in all surveys. Though, in recent years, primary education has had no significant effect. The U5M risk was additionally lower for urban children than rural children whose mothers had secondary and higher education by NFHS-III; however, this additional urban advantage was no longer significant in recent surveys. The higher impact of secondary education on U5MR in urban areas in the past may be attributed to poor socio-economic, healthcare conditions in rural areas. Overall, maternal education, particularly secondary education, remained a protective factor for U5M in both rural and urban areas, even after controlling for predictors. Therefore, there is a need to increase the focus on secondary education for girls for a further decline in U5M.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rural-urban, Maternal education, Under-five mortality, Interaction effect, India
Research Programs: Population and Just Societies (POPJUS)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Multidimensional Demographic Modeling (MDM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2023 12:00
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2023 12:00
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/18639

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