Socio-demographic determinants of paternal centred child care practices and under-three children malnutrition in peri-urban communities in south west Nigeria
Objective: This cross sectional, descriptive study was carried out to assess fathers' involvement in child care practices and under-three children malnutrition in Egbeda Local Government Area of Oyo state.
Methods: A total of 450 households were selected using multistage random sampling technique. Using structured questionnaire, information was collected on socio economic and demographic characteristics of the household head, feeding pattern of the index children, fathers' involvement in child care practices and anthropometric data of the children. SPSS version 16.0 and WHO Anthro software were used for data analysis. Association between variables was established using chisquare test.
Results: The result indicated that majority of the fathers had post-secondary education (92.2%), belong to Yoruba ethnic group (91.6%), Artisans (37%), and 47.2% earned between N18,000 and N30,000 per month. Fathers' involvement in child care practices was generally low as only about 6% of the fathers had moderate to high involvement in child care. Under-three malnutrition was high with stunting being 52.8%, underweight (24%) and wasting (7%). Income of fathers was significantly associated with stunting and wasting while father's occupation was also found to be significantly associated with wasting. The involvement of fathers in child care practices had significant association with father's income, occupation and educational level of the fathers.
Conclusion: Income, occupation and educational level of fathers have been established as important determinants of nutritional status and paternal involvement in child care practices among under-three children hence the need for community reorientation and awareness to address the issues.
Keywords: Childcare, Under-three malnutrition, paternal involvement
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