Participation in the Juntos Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Peru Is Associated with Changes in Child Anthropometric Status but Not Language Development or School Achievement

Abstract

### Background

It is unclear what effects a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program would have on child anthropometry, language development, or school achievement in the context of the nutrition transition experienced by many low- and middle-income countries.

### Objective

We estimated the association of participation in Peru’s Juntos CCT with anthropometry, language development, and school achievement among children aged 7–8 y.

### Methods

We used data from the Young Lives cohort study, a cohort born between 2001 and 2002. We estimated associations of the Juntos program with height-for-age z score (HAZ), body mass index–for–age z score (BAZ), stunting, and overweight at age 7–8 y separately for children participating in the program for ≥2 y (n = 169) and children participating for n = 188). We then estimated associations with receptive vocabulary and grade achievement among children who had been assessed at age 4–6 y before enrollment in Juntos (n = 243). We identified control subjects using propensity score matching and conducted difference-in-differences comparisons.

### Results

Juntos participation was associated with increases in HAZ among boys participating for ≥2 y (average effect of treatment among the treated (ATT): 0.43; 95% CI: 0.09, 0.77; P = 0.01) and for boys participating for P P P = 0.03). We observed no significant associations of Juntos participation with receptive vocabulary or grade attainment.

### Conclusions

CCT program participation in Peru was associated with better linear growth among boys and decreased BAZ among girls, highlighting that a large-scale poverty-alleviation intervention may influence anthropometric outcomes in the context of the nutrition transition.

Citation

Andersen, C.T.; Reynolds, S.A.; Behrman, J.R.; Crookston, B.T.; Dearden, K.A.; Escobal, J.; Mani, S.; Sánchez, A.; Stein, A.D.; Fernald, L.C.H. Participation in the Juntos Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Peru Is Associated with Changes in Child Anthropometric Status but Not Language Development or School Achievement. Journal of Nutrition (2015) : [DOI: 10.3945/jn.115.213546]

Participation in the Juntos Conditional Cash Transfer Program in Peru Is Associated with Changes in Child Anthropometric Status but Not Language Development or School Achievement

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