The Effects of Maternal Risk Factors on Daughters' Health and Socioeconomic Outcomes in Adulthood: A Pseudo-Cohort Analysis of Demographic and Health Surveys Conducted in 50 Developing Countries, 1986-2012

Amy Tsui, Johns Hopkins University
Qingfeng Li, Johns Hopkins University

This analysis aims at assessing life course impacts of maternal risk factors at daughters’ birth on their adult health, reproductive and socioeconomic outcomes. Pseudo-cohorts are constructed using birth history and respondent reports from cross-sectional rounds of Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 50 developing countries between 1986 and 2012. National longitudinal surveys of health and development are rare in low-resource settings and the rich series and large sample sizes of DHSs enable linking summary measures for birth cohorts over time. The simulated proportions show that elimination of all maternal risk factors can improve adult female height and weight and reduce levels of adverse reproductive and socioeconomic outcomes in both the overall and for Sub-Saharan African cohort samples. The proportions experiencing paid work increase only if high parity births are eliminated. This study's methodological approach enables longitudinal testing of life course hypotheses using DHS data and other large-scale repeated cross-sectional data.

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Presented in Session 16: Life Course Influences on Health and Mortality in International Perspective