Mothers' Education Level Affects Children's Health. (Family)

Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities, July 2001 | Go to article overview

Mothers' Education Level Affects Children's Health. (Family)


Mothers' education level has a significant impact on their children's health and quality of life, according to Save the Children. Higher literacy rates among adult women correlate to low child-mortality rates. Researchers believe this stems in part from better-educated women's tendency to delay childbearing until later in life.

In developing countries, girls with no formal education have their first child at an average age of 19, those with primary school education have their first child at 20, and those who finish secondary school have their first child at age 23. Globally, educated women are more likely to provide good nutrition and to obtain healthcare and education for their children. In countries such as the U.S., where women control a significant share of household income, mothers tend to invest a sizeable amount of their earnings in their children's welfare.

In an analysis of indicators including women's health, education levels, and political status, researchers ranked 94 countries on an index comparing mothers' overall quality of life. While wealthy nations rank higher in general than poorer nations, the U.S. ranks only 12th on the list, and 22 on a similar index measuring girls' quality of life.

The low ranking on the girls' index is primarily due to the relatively high rate of births to teen mothers (59 births per 1,000 women age 15-19), but other factors such as lack of universal access to healthcare, percentage of women using modem contraceptive methods (67%), and percentage of national government seats held by women (13%) are also important. …

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