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Socio-economic classification of children attending specialist paediatric centres in Ogun State, Nigeria

AT Ogunlesi
IOF Dedeke
OT Kuponiyi


In view of changing economic situation of the country, the methods of socio-economic classification of children need to be periodically reviewed. To classify the social status of children in Ogun State using the education, occupations and incomes of their parents. The highest educational attainment, occupation and income of the parents of children attending three specialist hospitals in Ogun State, Nigeria were recorded. The mean income for each educational qualification and occupation was determined. The incomes for the fathers and mothers were classified into 10th, 25th, 50th 75th and 90th percentiles. The equivalent of the mean income for each type of occupation or educational qualification in the percentile incomes was used to assign scores (5 to 1) to types of education and occupation. The scores for both parents were used to assign their children to socio-economic classes (I to V). Seven hundred and two children were studied. Most of the fathers were professionals (12.5%), middle-scale traders (14.5%) and artisans (21.1%) while most of the mothers were teachers (16.1%) and petty traders (21.2%). The leading educational qualifications for both groups of parents were Bachelor Degrees (23.6% for fathers and 18.2% for mothers) and Senior Secondary education (34.3% for fathers and 35.0% for mothers). The children belonged to class I (0.4%), class II (16.5%), class III (32.5%), class IV (42.2%) and class V (8.4%). Most of the parents had high educational qualification but most of their children belonged to the lower socio-economic classes. This disparity might have arisen from poor employment and possibly, poor pay. The methods of socio-economic classification of children should be regularly reviewed.

Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 54 (1) 2008: pp. 21-25