Mal J Nutr 23(1):53 - 63, 2017

Association of Maternal Social Capital with Nutritional Status of 6 to 24-Month-Old Children Living in Urban and Rural Areas in Laguna, Philippines
Divine Grace C Domingo1, Corazon VC Barba1, Ma Theresa M Talavera1, Lutgarda L Tolentino2 & Rodesa T Naupal-Forcadilla3


Introduction: Malnutrition in young children is often viewed as an outcome of the interactions of dietary consumption, socio-economic, and demographic factors. Social capital is a widely explored subject because of its implications on health and socio-economic factors, but has not gained recognition in its role as a determinant of nutritional status. Objectives: The study aimed to determine the association between maternal social capital and nutritional status of 6 to 24-month-old children living in urban and rural areas and to compare the effect of maternal social capital on the child’s nutritional status between an urban and a rural community setting.
Methods: A total of 135 randomly selected mothers were interviewed in selected urban and rural communities in San Pablo City and Municipality of Rizal, Laguna, Philippines. Chi-square and Spearman’s test were used to determine the association of variables. Binary logistic regression was used to predict the effect of maternal social capital on nutritional status.
Results: Levels of maternal social capital were the same in the urban and rural areas (p=0.24) and had a strong association with household food security (p<0.05). In the urban area, maternal social capital was strongly associated with mother’s education (p<0.01) and weight-for-age (p<0.01) and height-for-age (p<0.05). In the rural area, maternal social capital was strongly associated with mother’s education (p<0.01), ethnicity (p<0.01), marital status (p<0.05) and weight-for-age (p<0.01).
Conclusion: There is an association between material social capital and nutritional status. Improvements in education and household food security as well as having parents living-in together may lead to better nutritional outcomes as these factors are associated with maternal social capital which in turn affects nutritional status of children aged 6 to 24 months.

Keywords: Child care practices, food security, maternal social capital, nutritional status

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