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DOES TYPE OF HOUSEHOLD AFFECT MATERNAL HEALTH? EVIDENCE FROM INDIA
Authors: NANDITA SAIKIA and ABHISHEK SINGH
Source: Journal of Biosocial Science, 2008 Nov 27:1-25.
Topic(s): Antenatal care
Contraception
Education
Family structure
Household headship
Maternal health
Nutrition
Women's autonomy
Country: Asia
  India
Published: NOV 2008
Abstract: The present paper examines the association between the type of household and maternal health in India using data from the National Family Health Survey 1998–99. The indicators of maternal health used in the analysis are contraceptive use, visit to obtain antenatal care in the first trimester, safe delivery and nutritional status of women measured in terms of body mass index (BMI). Binary and multinomial logistic regressions are used to establish associations. The type of household is coded into three categories, viz. nuclear household, joint household with in-laws and joint household without in-laws. The other independent variables used in the analysis are age, children ever born, work status, education of women, religion, caste, standard of living, exposure to mass media, women’s autonomy and presence of others at the time of interview. The findings clearly suggest that type of household is significantly associated with the utilization of the above-mentioned services that positively affect maternal health. Women in nuclear households are more likely to utilize these services compared with women in joint households. However, an association between type of household and BMI was not found.