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Maternal Risk Exposure and Adult Daughters’ Health, Schooling, and Employment: A Constructed Cohort Analysis of 50 Developing Countries
Authors: Qingfeng Li, and Amy O. Tsui
Source: Demography, 53(3):835-63. doi: 10.1007/s13524-016-0472-z.
Topic(s): Fertility
Maternal health
Reproductive health
Women's health
Country: More than one region
  Multiple Regions
Published: JUN 2016
Abstract: This study analyzes the relationships between maternal risk factors present at the time of daughters’ births—namely, young mother, high parity, and short preceding birth interval—and their subsequent adult developmental, reproductive, and socioeconomic outcomes. Pseudo-cohorts are constructed using female respondent data from 189 cross-sectional rounds of Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 50 developing countries between 1986 and 2013. Generalized linear models are estimated to test the relationships and calculate cohort-level outcome proportions with the systematic elimination of the three maternal risk factors. The simulation exercise for the full sample of 2,546 pseudo-cohorts shows that the combined elimination of risk exposures is associated with lower mean proportions of adult daughters experiencing child mortality, having a small infant at birth, and having a low body mass index. Among sub-Saharan African cohorts, the estimated changes are larger, particularly for years of schooling. The pseudo-cohort approach can enable longitudinal testing of life course hypotheses using large-scale, standardized, repeated cross-sectional data and with considerable resource efficiency.