Caregiver Perceptions of Child Development: A Cross-Sectional Study

31 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2019

See all articles by Esther O. Chung

Esther O. Chung

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Epidemiology

Lia Fernald

University of California, Berkeley

Emanuela Galasso

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Lisy Zarasoa Ratsifandrihamanana

Catholic University of Madagascar

Ann Weber

Stanford University

Date Written: September 30, 2019

Abstract

Parents play a crucial role in the promotion of early childhood development, and understanding parental perceptions of early childhood development may help enhance parental investments early in life. To explore this question, caregivers were asked to rank their child's intelligence in comparison with other children in the community, and the rankings were compared with children's scores on an assessment of developmental abilities across multiple domains. Using cross-sectional data on children ages 16-42 months in rural Madagascar, this paper documents the discordance between caregivers' perceived early childhood development with an interviewer-based measure of early childhood development. The paper examines the determinants of caregivers' under- and over-estimation of child development using multinomial logistic regressions. The study finds that caregiver perceptions of early childhood development in Madagascar do not align consistently with an interviewer-based measure. Approximately 8 percent of the caregivers under-estimated and almost 50 percent over-estimated their children's abilities. Better child nutritional status, caregivers with a greater belief in their influence on child intelligence, and higher socioeconomic status were associated with lower odds of under- or over-estimation of early childhood development. Further research is needed to understand the common cues that caregivers use to identify child development milestones, to inform the design of parenting interventions.

Suggested Citation

Chung, Esther O. and Fernald, Lia and Galasso, Emanuela and Ratsifandrihamanana, Lisy Zarasoa and Weber, Ann, Caregiver Perceptions of Child Development: A Cross-Sectional Study (September 30, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 9030, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3485912

Esther O. Chung (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Epidemiology

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

Lia Fernald

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Emanuela Galasso

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-3902 (Phone)
202-522-1153 (Fax)

Lisy Zarasoa Ratsifandrihamanana

Catholic University of Madagascar

Antananarivo
Madagascar

Ann Weber

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

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