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Matern Child Nutr. 2005 Apr;1(2):100-10.

Maternal nutritional knowledge and child nutritional status in the Volta region of Ghana.

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Department of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.


The relationship between mother's nutritional knowledge, maternal education, and child nutritional status (weight-for-age) was the subject of investigation in this study. The data were collected in Ghana on 55 well nourished and 55 malnourished mother-child pairs. A questionnaire designed to collect data on mother's knowledge and practices related to child care and nutrition was administered to the mothers. Data on mother's demographic and socio-economic characteristics as well as child anthropometric data were also collected. A nutrition knowledge score was calculated based on mother's responses to the nutrition related items. Bivariate analysis gave significant associations between child nutritional status and the following variables: time of initiating of breastfeeding, mother's knowledge of importance of colostrum and whether colostrum was given to child, age of introduction of supplementary food, and mother's knowledge about causes of kwashiorkor. The two groups also showed significant differences in their nutrition knowledge scores. Maternal formal education, and marital status were also found to be associated with child nutritional status in bivariate analyses. Further analysis with logistic regression revealed that maternal nutrition knowledge was independently associated with nutritional status after the effects of other significant variables were controlled for. Maternal education on the other hand was not found to be independently associated with nutritional status. These results imply that mother's practical knowledge about nutrition may be more important than formal maternal education for child nutrition outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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