Presenter Information

Lucy B. TompkinsFollow

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

In a remote district of Nepal in the Himalayas, known as Humla District, increased access to health care and contraception in the past decade have given village families more options for family planning. In other research on health seeking, socioeconomic status indicators such as household education level, months of food security, and occupation have been associated with contraceptive behaviors. Based on theories related to demographic and health transitions, we hypothesized that families with higher socioeconomic statuses were more likely to have lower fertility. Multiple regressions of a handful of indicators of socioeconomic status derived from ethnographic and survey data collected between 2003 and 2013 in Humla District revealed that decision making about health and family size is fairly complex, and is related to a handful of factors. Based on this knowledge of the region, where livelihoods depend on labor for agricultural pursuits but fertile land is not widely available for expansion, decisions to limit family size have wide-ranging repercussions. We discuss variations in barriers to health seeking in multiple villages of Humla District, and their implications for the future of family planning and health development in Humla District. This project was conducted using research acquired through surveys of villagers. Questions regarding their ideas of wealth, their ability to reach clinics when sick, socioeconomic status indicators, and family size were used to reach conclusions about this topic. This approach is unique because it asks villagers themselves what they value and consider to be signs of wealth, prosperity, and success, and uses that information to deduce what it is that they need in order to thrive in their communities. It examines how and why families with more socioeconomic status would desire a smaller family size, and why that may be beneficial in these villages.

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Social Sciences

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Apr 11th, 3:00 PM Apr 11th, 4:00 PM

Family Size and Socioeconomic Status in Humla District, Nepal

In a remote district of Nepal in the Himalayas, known as Humla District, increased access to health care and contraception in the past decade have given village families more options for family planning. In other research on health seeking, socioeconomic status indicators such as household education level, months of food security, and occupation have been associated with contraceptive behaviors. Based on theories related to demographic and health transitions, we hypothesized that families with higher socioeconomic statuses were more likely to have lower fertility. Multiple regressions of a handful of indicators of socioeconomic status derived from ethnographic and survey data collected between 2003 and 2013 in Humla District revealed that decision making about health and family size is fairly complex, and is related to a handful of factors. Based on this knowledge of the region, where livelihoods depend on labor for agricultural pursuits but fertile land is not widely available for expansion, decisions to limit family size have wide-ranging repercussions. We discuss variations in barriers to health seeking in multiple villages of Humla District, and their implications for the future of family planning and health development in Humla District. This project was conducted using research acquired through surveys of villagers. Questions regarding their ideas of wealth, their ability to reach clinics when sick, socioeconomic status indicators, and family size were used to reach conclusions about this topic. This approach is unique because it asks villagers themselves what they value and consider to be signs of wealth, prosperity, and success, and uses that information to deduce what it is that they need in order to thrive in their communities. It examines how and why families with more socioeconomic status would desire a smaller family size, and why that may be beneficial in these villages.