EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Understanding the association between stunting and child development in low- and middle-income countries: Next steps for research and intervention

Jessica M. Perkins, Rockli Kim, Aditi Krishna, Mark McGovern, Victor M. Aguayo and S.V. Subramanian

No 17-05, CHaRMS Working Papers from Centre for HeAlth Research at the Management School (CHaRMS)

Abstract: Stunting, caused by experiences of chronic nutritional deprivation, affects approximately 25% of children under age five globally (i.e., 156 million children). In this review, evidence of a relationship between stunting and child development in low- and middle-income countries is summarized, and issues for further research are discussed. We focus on studies that measured low height-for-age among children less than 5 years old as the exposure and gross/fine motor skills, psychosocial competencies, cognitive abilities, or schooling and learning milestones as the outcomes. This review highlights three key findings. First, the variability in child development tools and metrics used among studies and the differences in the timing and frequency of the assessments complicate comparisons across study findings. Second, considerable evidence from across many countries supports an association between stunting and poor child development despite methodological differences and heterogeneity in the magnitude of associations. Further, effect sizes differ by developmental domain with greater associations shown for cognitive/ schooling outcomes. How stunting influences child development, which domains of child development are more affected, and how the various domains of child development influence one another require further experimental research to test causal pathways. Finally, there is mixed evidence of the additive effect of nutrition and stimulation interventions on child development. However, understanding best methods for improving child developmental outcomes - either through nutrition programs or through integrated nutrition and psychosocial stimulation programs (or nutrition and other program interventions) - is a key area of further inquiry. Given that nearly 40% of children under age five suffer from loss of developmental potential - for which stunting is likely one of the key risk factors - reductions in stunting could have tremendous implications for child development and human capital formation, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

Keywords: Child development; Cognition; Stunting; Undernutrition; Gross motor; Fine motor; Psychosocial skills; Cognitive ability; Height (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 J10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 44 pages
Date: 2017-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta and nep-neu
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
ftp://ftp.qub.ac.uk/pub/users/repec/qub/charms/MS_WPS_CHARMS_17_05.pdf (application/pdf)
Our link check indicates that this URL is bad, the error code is: 500 Failed to connect to FTP server ftp.qub.ac.uk: A connection attempt failed because the connected party did not properly respond after a period of time, or established connection failed because connected host has failed to respond.

Related works:
Journal Article: Understanding the association between stunting and child development in low- and middle-income countries: Next steps for research and intervention (2017) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:qub:charms:1705

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in CHaRMS Working Papers from Centre for HeAlth Research at the Management School (CHaRMS) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Mark McGovern ().

 
Page updated 2020-03-31
Handle: RePEc:qub:charms:1705