Caregiver education is known to relate to the growth of children, but possible mediation mechanisms of this association are poorly characterized and generally lack empirical support. We test whether instructional capital (caregiver education) leads to improved infant growth through availability of physical capital (household resources) across a wide swath of low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). Using the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, we explore relations among caregiver education, household resources, and infant (M age = 0.99 years) growth in 117,881 families living in 39 LMIC. Overall, household resources mediated 76% of the small association between caregiver education and infant growth. When disaggregated by countries characterized by low, medium, and high levels of human development (as indexed by average life expectancy, education, and gross domestic product), household resources mediated 48-78% of the association between caregiver education and infant growth. Caregiver education had effects on infant growth through household resources in countries characterized by low, medium, and high levels of human development; for girls and boys; and controlling for indexes of infant feeding and health.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology