Impact of Parental Socioeconomic Status on Child Health Outcomes in Kenya

"It is widely acknowledged that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. However, like most developing countries, Kenya records unfavourable population health indicators. An extensive body of knowledge suggests inter-generational health effects where adult health, largely determined in childhood, influences and is influenced by socioeconomic outcomes in later life. Studies show that parental characteristics especially socioeconomic status like labour force participation and education has important influences on early child health status. Working mothers had healthier children, the weak causal impact notwithstanding. It was paradoxical that mother’s education had negative and strong impact on child health, given the empirically established positive links between education and labour force participation. Is there a possibility that working mothers’ input into child care and nutritional intake influence in dwindling, with adverse child health effects? Maternal labour force participation was high and favourable on child nutritional outcomes in Kenya, though causal impact is weak. It is imperative that mothers are empowered to engage in employment activities that can make a substantial difference in their children’s health."