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Stunting later in childhood and outcomes as a young adult: Evidence from India

Rozana Himaz ()

World Development, 2018, vol. 104, issue C, 344-357

Abstract: This paper looks at patterns of growth faltering and catch up of around 1000 children as they moved from 8 to 19 years of age, from middle childhood through adolescence to young adulthood, using Height for Age Difference (HAD) and the more conventional Height for age z-scores (HAZ). It also looks at what individual and household characteristics may have moved these children into or out of situations of nutritional deprivation and how their stunting profile in later childhood correlates with psychosocial outcomes at age 19 and how it may have intergenerational consequences. The paper uses 4 rounds of longitudinal data collected in 2002, 2006, 2009 and 2013 from Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, India when the children were aged 8, 12, 15 and 19. The paper finds that there are significant gender based biases in growth faltering later in childhood disfavouring girls and that becoming newly stunted as an adolescent is strongly correlated with a child reporting to have poorer relationships with peers compared to the group that were never stunted. We also find that a girl experiencing stunting in middle childhood or adolescence (even if they were not stunted at age 8 or eventually moved out of being stunted by age 19) correlates significantly with offspring being shorter and thinner than the offspring of girls never stunted. This is one of few, if any, studies that look at growth patterns in middle childhood and adolescence and outcomes as a young adult and the results are important for their implications for further research and policy.

Keywords: Stunting; Adolescence; Psychosocial; Gender; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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