The Effect of Stable Unions on Child Health, Nutrition and Development

Alan B. Feranil, University of San Carlos

Stable families influence their children’s well being. Using data drawn 2,190 girls and boys aged three to six years old in disadvantaged areas in Central Philippines, I examined the effect of maternal marital unions on the health, nutrition and development of their preschool children. Findings support the argument that stable unions have a positive effect on the well being of children. Children whose mothers were in stable marital unions were healthier, well nourished and were socio emotionally developed than those whose mothers were in unstable unions. The effect of marital stability was more significant among the boys compared to the girls even when other individual and household and community covariates were considered. These findings support the importance of stable unions on child health, nutrition and development especially in developing countries where stable marriages are still considered as ideal and the norm.

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Presented in Poster Session 2