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Non-adult child supervision practices in Lao People’s Democratic Republic
Authors: Mónica Ruiz-Casares, and José Ignacio Nazif-Muñoz
Source: Child Abuse & Neglect , 84: 217-228; DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2018.08.001
Topic(s): Child supervision
Country: Asia
  Lao People's Democratic Republic
Published: OCT 2018
Abstract: Researchers have paid little attention to non-adult child supervision and the prevalence and factors influencing this practice in low-income countries. A better understanding of this phenomenon is needed to inform the development and implementation of policies and interventions to enhance child supervision in those settings. This study explores the prevalence and factors associated with young children being home alone or under the care of another young child in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Using the 2011–2012 Lao Social Indicator Survey (N?=?10,740 for the subsample of ‘child was home alone’ and N?=?10,539 for the subsample of ‘child cared by another child < 10 years of age’), multi-level Poisson regressions were performed to determine the number of days children under five years of age were home alone or under the care of another child younger than 10 years of age. Large discrepancies across provinces and between urban and rural populations within each province were found. Children living in rural areas were more than five times more likely to be unsupervised than children living in urban settings (incidence rate ratio, IRR 5.2; 95% CI: 1.8–15.2), and children living in rural areas were nearly twice more likely to be under the care of another child than children living in urban settings (IRR 1.9; 95% CI: 1.3–2.8). Age was also a common factor in explaining variation in both dependent variables. Policies aimed at facilitating adequate child care and supervision should consider rurality to increase children’s protection.