Journal of Undergraduate Research


marital homogamy, maternal empowerment, child health, Ghana


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




Current research shows that marital homogamy, where spouses are similar in attributes, increases gender equality in marriage. Greater age and education homogamy within marriage is associated with greater gender equality between husbands and wives (Pyke & Adams). When women have equal status and are more empowered in the home, they are more able to invest in the health and development of their children. As women control earnings or home finances, funds are allocated for the health and nutrition of their children, rather than alcohol and status consumer goods (Hoddinott & Haddad, 1995). This is crucial as the nutrition and health care a child receives at an early age influences cognitive ability later in life (Berkman et. al, 2002; Pelletier et al., 1995). To further understand this relationship, I utilize the Demographic and Health Survey of Ghana, 2014 to examine how age and educational homogamy within marriage affect child nutrition and health. I hypothesize, based on previous literature, that greater parental age and educational homogamy will be associated with lower stunting or chronic child malnutrition, and that this effect will be mediated by maternal empowerment.

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