Determinants of child health

Mitch Blair, Sarah Stewart-Brown, Tony Waterston and Rachel Crowther

in Child Public Health

Second edition

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199547500
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191720123 | DOI:
Determinants of child health

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This chapter uses the Mandala framework of health determinants to describe the many interweaving factors that influence child health. It is shown that parental health and genetic constitution, antenatal and postnatal nutrition, and infection influence early human biological factors such as birthweight. At a family level, support, nurturance, and stimulation influence the development of language, social and emotional health. The family is in turn influenced by resources determined in large part by employment and financial security. Neighbourhoods and communities play a part in determining what families can and cannot offer their children. Here factors such as safety, social cohesion, and the avoidance of ghettoization of poor and marginalized families are key influences on early childhood development. The way in which we design our cities and their social organization has a major influence at this level. At the widest level of social aggregation, the key factors are sociopolitical organization and programme delivery. Income distribution, patterns of employment and migration, and societal attitudes to children and young people influence the conditions in which children live, learn, and grow up. This chapter describes each of these levels of influence and gives examples of how these determinants effect the child in the centre of the Mandala diagram.

Keywords: Mandala diagram; child health; parental behaviour; family; neighbourhoods; community

Chapter.  19809 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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