Exploring the Cinderella myth: intrahousehold differences in child wellbeing between orphans and non-orphans in Amajuba District, South Africa.
Objective: To determine whether differences in wellbeing (defined by a variety of education and health outcomes) exist between recent school-aged orphans and non-orphans who live in the same household in a context of high HIV/AIDS mortality in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Design: The data come from the first 2 years (2004-2006) of an ongoing 3-year longitudinal cohort study in a district in KwaZulu-Natal, the Amajuba Child Health and Well-being Research Project. Using stratified cluster sampling based on school and age, we constructed a cohort of 197 recent orphans and 528 non-orphans aged 9-16 years and their households and caregivers. Household heads, caregivers, and children were interviewed regarding five domains of child wellbeing: demographic, economic, educational, health/nutrition/lifestyle, and psychosocial status. Methods: The analytical sample consisted of 174 children (87 orphans and 87 comparable non-orphans who lived together) at baseline and 124 children in round 2. We estimated a linear regression model using household fixed effects for continuous outcomes (grade adjusted for age, annual expenditure on schooling and body mass index) and a logit model using household fixed effects for categorical variables (malnutrition) to compare co-resident orphans and non-orphans. Results: We found no statistically significant differences in most education, health and labour outcomes between orphans and the non-orphans with whom they live. Paternal orphans are more likely to be behind in school, and recent mobility has a positive effect on schooling outcomes.
Parikh, A.; DeSilva, M.B.; Cakwe, M.; Quinlan, T.; Simon, J.L.; Skalicky, A.; Zhuwau, T. Exploring the Cinderella myth: intrahousehold differences in child wellbeing between orphans and non-orphans in Amajuba District, South Africa. AIDS (2007) 21 (Suppl 7) S95-S103. [DOI: 10.1097/01.aids.0000300540.12849.86]