Kinesiology & Health Sciences
MATERNAL AND CHILD NUTRITION
Maternal capabilitiesqualities of mothers that enable them to leverage skills and resources into child healthhold potential influence over mother's adoption of child caring practices, including infant and young child feeding. We developed a survey (n=195) that assessed the associations of 4 dimensions of maternal capabilities (social support, psychological health, decision making, and empowerment) with mothers' infant and young child feeding practices and children's nutritional status in Uganda. Maternal responses were converted to categorical subscales and an overall index. Scale reliability coefficients were moderate to strong ( range=0.49 to 0.80). Mothers with higher social support scores were more likely to feed children according to the minimum meal frequency (odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval (CI)]=1.38 [1.10, 1.73]), dietary diversity (OR [95% CI]=1.56 [1.15, 2.11]), iron rich foods, (OR [95% CI]=1.47 [1.14, 1.89]), and minimally acceptable diet (OR [95% CI]=1.55 [1.10, 2.21]) indicators. Empowerment was associated with a greater likelihood of feeding a minimally diverse and acceptable diet. The maternal capabilities index was significantly associated with feeding the minimum number of times per day (OR [95% CI]=1.29 [1.03, 1.63]), dietary diversity (OR [95% CI]=1.44 [1.06, 1.94]), and minimally acceptable diet (OR [95% CI]=1.43 [1.01, 2.01]). Mothers with higher psychological satisfaction were more likely to have a stunted child (OR [95% CI]=1.31 [1.06, 1.63]). No other associations between the capabilities scales and child growth were significant. Strengthening social support for mothers and expanding overall maternal capabilities hold potential for addressing important underlying determinants of child feeding in the Ugandan context.
Ickes, Scott B.; Wu, Michael; Mandel, Maia P.; and Roberts, Alison C., Associations between social support, psychological well-being, decision making, empowerment, infant and young child feeding, and nutritional status in Ugandan children ages 0 to 24months (2018). MATERNAL AND CHILD NUTRITION, 14(1).