Simultaneity in Maternal-Child Health Care Utilization and Contraceptive Use: Evidence from Developing Countries
Mosley, W. Henry
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This study examined the relationship between the use of maternal-child health (MCH) care and the use of contraceptives. The high correlation between the two may be due to the independent effect of one on the other or to an association of both with the same or similar background factors. We used structural equation models to examine the relationship between these two interventions. The data were derived from six Demographic and Health Surveys: Zimbabwe from Sub-Saharan Africa, Thailand from Asia, Egypt and Tunisia from North Africa, and Guatemala and Colombia from Latin America. The results show that in all six countries, the use of contraceptives and MCH care are significantly associated, independent of intervening factors; this finding suggests that families develop a joint demand for better-quality health and limited family size and translate these demands into action by using health services for mothers and for children and by voluntarily regulating fertility.