Back to browse results
Testing the impact of orphan status, illness in the household, and a child's relationship to the household head on wasting in Nigeria: implications for Hamilton's rule
Authors: Aramide Kazeem and John Musalia
Source: Journal of Family Studies, DOI:
Topic(s): Family structure
Household headship
Country: Africa
Published: MAR 2021
Abstract: Existing studies on the impact of orphanhood on wasting in sub-Saharan Africa were historically conducted in East and South Africa. These studies have been interested in understanding how close kinship ties with household heads impact orphans' risk of wasting, considering economic resources in the household. The unavailability of secondary data in the past made exploring the idea difficult. Little is known on the subject in West Africa, particularly Nigeria. This research undertakes this topic by analyzing the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey Data and employing a multi-level logistic regression model. The research examines the interaction of being a paternal orphan or vulnerable child and the child's relationship to the household head on early childhood malnutrition as measured by weight-for-height z-score, wasting. It also ascertains whether the interaction effect varies with household income. Results show that, regardless of residence in poor or non-poor households, being a paternal orphan or vulnerable child coupled with being a grandchild produces the highest probability of wasting, especially in poor households. Further, results show that extended families and relatives, particularly grandparents-headed households, are not meeting the nutritional needs of paternal orphans or vulnerable children who are grandchildren, especially in poor households.