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Maternal education and child immunization: the mediating roles of maternal literacy and socioeconomic status

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posted on 2023-05-19, 10:14 authored by Saliu BalogunSaliu Balogun, Yusuff, HA, Yusuf, KQ, Al-Shenqiti, AM, Balogun, MT, Tettey, P
Introduction: Previous studies in Nigeria have documented significant association between maternal education and child immunization. However, little is known about the pathway through which maternal education improves immunization uptake. This study aims to examine whether maternal literacy and socioeconomic status mediates the relationship between maternal education and complete immunization coverage in children.

Methods: Nationally representative data from the first wave of the Nigeria General Household Survey-Panel were used, which includes 661 children aged one year and below. Regression analyses were used to model the association between maternal education and child's immunization uptake; we then examined whether maternal literacy and household economic status mediates this association.

Results: Of the 661 children, 40% had complete immunization. The prevalence ratio (PR) of complete immunization in children whose mothers were educated versus those whose mothers were not educated was 1.44 (95% CI: 1.16-1.77). Maternal literacy substantially reduced the estimated association between maternal education and complete immunization by 90%, whereas household economic status reduced the estimates by 27%.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that complete immunization was higher in children whose mothers were educated, partly because maternal education leads to acquisition of literacy skills and better health-seeking behavior which then improves immunization uptake for their children. Socioeconomic status is an alternative pathway but with less substantial indirect effect.


Publication title

Pan African Medical Journal



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Menzies Institute for Medical Research


African Field Epidemiology Network

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Copyright 2017 Saliu Adejumobi Balogun et al. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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Socio-economic Objectives

Behaviour and health

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