Family size transition and its implication over child care in Andhra Pradesh, India (pp. 199-216)
Authors: Ritwika Mukherjee
Abstract: The present study seeks to highlight the family size transition in Andhra Pradesh as a mechanism of twin process of fertility decline and nuclearisation of families impacting the levels and quality of child care through a longitudinal analysis from NFHS I, II and III unit level data. Appropriate bivariate and multivariate analysis such as binary logistic regression models have been worked to show the net effect of the selected demographic and socio-economic predictor variables impacting the probability of the betterment of children’s post natal care. The summary results of the analysis points out that the small family norms which has been incepted in Andhra as an exception to the usual discourse of socio-economic development, have not seen to intensify the discrimination in child care to a greater level like its north Indian counterparts, rather portrays significant differential in quality and nature of child care. Small or nuclear households are reported to have performed better in terms of medical care like immunization whereas non-medical care such as breastfeeding is higher among non-nuclear households. The other proximate determinants of child care like mothers’ occupational structure or their educational attainment are also seen to have similar effects where mothers’ having lower level of education or those who are employed in agriculture are reported to perform better in terms of the time- intensive care of the child such as breastfeeding. However, in the nuclear families, lack of baby care owing to rising opportunity costs of the working and educated women are responsible for it. Hence the differential effect of the modernization factors is needed to be handled judiciously.