Education Among Zambian Children: Linking Head of Household Characteristics to School Attendance


Education, head of household, school attendance, Zambia, orphan, children


This study examined the impact of head of household characteristics on school attendance among Zambian children. The study used nationally representative cross-sectional survey data with a sample of 24,165 school-aged children between the ages of 6 and 14. Findings showed that approximately 23% of the children were not in school, 14% were orphans, and 42% of children in the sample were from poor households. Heads of household in the sample showed low levels of education attainment; about 45% had a primary level education. Male heads of household had significantly higher levels of education compared to females (p < .001). Logistic regression model results showed that children living with a female head of household were more likely to attend school compared to those living with a male head of household (OR = 1.339, p < .001). In addition, findings showed greater likelihood for children’s school attendance the more educated the head of household was (p < .001). Increase in the age of the head of household, and the further removed the child was in biological relatedness to the head of household were associated with lesser odds of school attendance. Children that were older, female, non-orphan and from wealthier households had greater odds of school attendance. Findings highlight important head of household socioeconomic factors that policy and research should take into consideration when looking at children’s school attendance in Zambia.

Original Publication Citation

Saasa, S. K. (2018). Education among Zambian children: linking head of household characteristics to school attendance. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 1-8.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Social Work

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor