Birth spacing, sibling rivalry and child mortality in India


The detrimental impact of short preceding birth intervals on infant and early childhood mortality is well documented in demographic literature, although the pathways of influence within the relationship remain an area of debate. This paper examines the impact of the length of the preceding birth interval on under-two mortality in India, and examines the pathways through which short preceding birth intervals may lead to an increased risk of mortality. Three mortality periods are examined: neonatal, early post neonatal and late post-neonatal and toddler, using the 1992 Indian National Family Health Survey. A multilevel modelling approach is used to account for the hierarchical nature of the data. The determinants of infants following a short or long birth interval are also examined. The results show that short preceding birth intervals (


Social Science and Medicine (2002) 55 2107-2119 [doi:10.1016/S0277-9536(02)00002-3]

Birth spacing, sibling rivalry and child mortality in India

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