The Increasing Prevalence of Children Home Alone in Ghana: The Importance of Considering Regional Inequalities

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Abstract

Research from industrialized settings has linked inadequate child supervision with various negative consequences. Nevertheless, empirical research in lower- and middle-income countries about correlates of inadequate child supervision has been scarce. The few studies that exist tended to focus on individual- and household-level factors, and reported associations that are not significant or in mixed directions depending on the context. Structural factors are left underexplored, but taking a more macro-level lens in settings with high regional disparities can hold the key to explaining increases in prevalence of inadequate child supervision. Exploring the evolution over time of child supervision practices can also enrich this explanation. We use data from two rounds of Ghana Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys to examine factors associated with children left home alone, and employ regional analysis using strata-level mixed effects. We found that in Ghana, the prevalence of children left home alone without adult supervision increased by 8.5% between 2011 and 2018 – an increase of more than 500,000 children over seven years. Statistical analyses suggest that variation between regions likely are associated with the growth of inadequate child supervision in this country. Future research should pay closer attention to how structural conditions, proxied by regions, can serve as either barriers or facilitators to adequate child supervision practices, helping shed light on residual variance unexplained by individual- and household-level factors.

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APA

Iwo, R., Ruiz-Casares, M., & Nazif-Muñoz, J. I. (2023). The Increasing Prevalence of Children Home Alone in Ghana: The Importance of Considering Regional Inequalities. Child Indicators Research, 16(5), 2013–2032. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-023-10038-w

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