The Relationship Between Caregiving Behaviors and Child Outcomes: Evidence From Mother-Child Dyads in Pakistan

Elissa Scherer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ashley Hagaman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Joanna Maselko , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This study examines the association between maternal responsivity behaviors and child socioemotional and physical (growth) development at 24 months of age. The data comes from a population-representative, longitudinal cohort that enrolled mothers in pregnancy and followed them and their children through the first three years of the child’s life. To assess maternal responsivity objectively, we use the Observation of Mother-Child Interaction instrument, which is a live-coding of a 5-minute mother-child interaction engaging in a specific task. This instrument is especially useful in environments where video recording is difficult. In mean comparisons, maternal education, lower number of children, and greater assets were associated with higher levels of observed responsive behaviors. Higher levels of responsive behaviors were, in turn, correlated with better socioemotional outcomes, but not growth indicators. Results are interpreted in the context of the potential impact of specific parenting behaviors on child development in low resource settings.

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 Presented in Session 95. Parenting and Child Development in International Contexts