ObjectiveTo assess the association between quality of stimulation in the family environment and child's cognitive development considering the impact of mother's schooling on the quality of stimulation. Methods A cross-sectional study comprising 350 children aged 17-42 months was carried out in central and peripheral areas of Salvador, Northeastern Brazil, in 1999. A socioeconomic questionnaire was used, along with the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment Scale (HOME Inventory), and the Bayley Scale for Infant Development. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were carried out through linear regression at 5% level of significance.
ResultsThere was a positive (β=0.66) and statistically significant association between quality of stimulation in the family environment and child's cognitive development. Part of the effect was mediated by the mother's working circumstances and educational level. It was verified that a better quality of stimulation is provided for those who come early in the birth order in family, and live with only a few others under five years of age. This pattern of stimulation is better among children who live with their parents and whose mothers have better education, have a job and a partner involved in the family environment. Conclusions Quality of stimulation in the family environment is crucial for child's cognitive development, besides the significant role of the available resources and family dynamics. The study findings show the pertinence to cognitive development of interventions which improve the quality of the environment and the child-caregiver relationship.
We conducted a study of the association between gender, race/ethnicity, and social class and prevalence of depressive disorders in an urban sample (N = 2302) in Bahia, Brazil. Individual mental health status was assessed by the PSAD/QMPA scale. Family SES and head of household's schooling and occupation were taken as components for a 4-level social class scale. Race/ethnicity (white, moreno, mulatto, black) was assessed with a combination of self-designation and a system of racial classification. The overall 12-month prevalence of depressive symptoms was 12%, with a female:male ratio of 2:1. Divorced/widowed persons showed the highest prevalence and single the lowest. There was a negative correlation with education: the ratio college educated:illiterate was 4:1. This gradient was stronger for women than men. There was no F:M difference in depression among Whites, upper-middle classes, college-educated, or illiterate. Prevalence ratios for single, widowed and Blacks were well above the overall pattern. Regarding race/ethnicity, higher prevalences of depression were concentrated in the Moreno and Mulatto subgroups. There was a consistent social class and gender interaction, along all race/ethnicity strata. Three-way interaction analyses found strong gender effect for poor and working-class groups, for all race/ethnicity strata but Whites. Black poor yielded the strongest gender effect of all (up to nine-fold). We conclude that even in a highly unequal context such as Bahia, Blacks, Mulattos and women were protected from depression by placement into the local dominant classes; and that the social meaning of ethnic-gender-generation diversity varies with being unemployed or underemployed, poor or miserable, urban or rural, migrant or non-migrant.
Background: There is evidence that poverty, health and nutrition affect children's cognitive development. This study aimed to examine the relative contributions of both proximal and distal risk factors on child cognitive development, by breaking down the possible causal pathways through which poverty affects cognition.
We conducted a bibliometric and content analysis of research on health inequalities produced in Latin American and Caribbean countries. In our bibliometric analysis (n = 576), we used indexed material published between 1971 and 2000. The content analysis (n = 269) covered the period 1971 to 1995 and included unpublished material. We found recent rapid growth in overall output. Brazil, Chile, and Mexico contributed mostly empirical research, while Ecuador and Argentina produced more conceptual studies. We found, in the literature reviewed, a relative neglect of gender, race, and ethnicity issues. We also found remarkable diversity in research designs, however, along with strong consideration of ecological and ethnographic methods absent in other research traditions.
ObjectiveTo study patterns of alcohol consumption and prevalence of high-risk drinking. Methods A household survey was carried out in a sample of 2,302 adults in Salvador, Brazil. Cases of High-Risk Drinking (HRD) were defined as those subjects who referred daily or weekly binge drinking plus episodes of drunkenness and those who reported any use of alcoholic beverages but with frequent drunkenness (at least once a week). Results Fifty-six per cent of the sample acknowledged drinking alcoholic beverages. Overall consumption was significantly related with gender (male), marital status (single), migration (non-migrant), better educated (college level), and social class (upper). No significant differences were found regarding ethnicity, except for cachaça (Brazilian sugarcane liquor) and other distilled beverages. Overall 12-month prevalence of highrisk drinking was 7%, six times more prevalent among males than females (almost 13% compared to 2.4%). A positive association of HRD prevalence with education and social class was found. No overall relationship was found between ethnicity and HRD. Male gender and higher socioeconomic status were associated with increased odds of HRD. Two-way stratified analyses yielded consistent gender effects throughout all strata of independent variables. Conclusions The findings suggest that social and cultural elements determine local patterns of alcohol-drinking behavior. Additional research on long-term and differential effects of gender, ethnicity, and social class on alcohol use and misuse is needed in order to explain their role as sources of social health inequities.
The measures and diagnostic criteria that were employed appeared valid for use in Northeast Brazil, though there was evidence for consistent over-reporting of symptoms on the screening questionnaire. Rates of child mental health problems appear to differ substantially between sites, confirming the need for a multi-site Brazilian study of the prevalence of child psychiatric disorders.
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