Date Thesis Awarded


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)


Interdisciplinary Studies


Scott Ickes

Committee Members

Matthias Leu

Philip Roessler


This paper examines the relationship between maternal agency and child nutritional outcomes through a series of statistical analyses using data from developing countries. Malnutrition remains a major global disease burden and with increasing political attention surrounding the issue, it is necessary to understand the underlying factors contributing to it. One of these may be poor maternal care practices due to low maternal agency. The literature on maternal agency is conflicted about the nature of the relationship between maternal agency and child nutrition, and if there is a relationship at all. By comparing results from a 12-country study, a study in one district in rural Uganda, and the methodologies and data used in the two we are able to identify strong relationships in larger studies while simultaneously recognizing disparate and more specific relationships in more specific contexts. Our results point to a need for standardization in the field as well as a prioritization of future research tailored to unique socioeconomic contexts in developing countries.