219619 Child Labor and Orphaned and Abandoned Children in Five Less Wealthy Nations

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 2:48 PM - 3:06 PM

Rachel Whetten, MPH , Center of Health Policy, Health Inequalities Program, Duke University, Durham, NC
Lynne C. Messer, PhD , Duke Global Health Institute, Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, Duke University, Durham, NC
Kathryn Whetten, MPH, PhD , Duke Global Health Institute, Center of Health Policy, Duke University, Durham, NC
Jan Ostermann, PhD , Duke Global Health Institute Center of Health Policy, Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre/Duke University, Durham, NC
Brian Pence, MPH, PhD , Duke Global Health Institute, Center for Health Polic, Duke University, Durham, NC
Nathan Thielman, MD, MPH , Department of Medicine and Infectious Disease, Duke University, Durham, NC
While potential detrimental effects of excessive labor on children's school attendance, physical and mental health, and well-being are evident, little research has explored excessive labor (defined as >22 hours / week) among orphaned and abandoned children (OAC). The Positive Outcomes for Orphans study employed two-stage random sampling to identify 1480 OAC ages 6-12 living in family settings across six study sites in five countries: Cambodia, India, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. Random-effects logistic models, with a fixed slope for each predictor variable but with randomly-distributed site-specific intercepts (to account for stratified sampling and clustering of children within sites) predicted dichotomous labor (labor versus no labor) and excessive labor. Findings suggest most children are engaged in some sort of labor (60%) and of those who labored, 51% did so for more than 22 hours per week. Child-level variables including female gender, living with a relative (non-parent) and older age are associated with increased odds of labor. Living with a non-relative and being in poor health appear protective against laboring, Poor health was the only child level variable that protected against excessive labor. Of caregiver characteristics, older age and not earning an income was associated with increased odds of child labor. While child and caregiver characteristics were associated with labor in general, only child gender, age and relationship to their caregiver were predictive of excessive labor. Policy makers need to pay attention to both child and caregiver characteristics when considering OAC placement.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Define differences between labor and excessive labor 2. Identify variables among caregivers and children related to labor and excessive labor 3. Discuss issues related to child labor with respect to OAC 4. Name implications of child labor for OAC health and development

Keywords: Children's Health, Labor

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified the director of the study whose data is being presented and all international studies in our organization.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.