Influence of Maternal Occupation and Number of Steady Adults in the Family on Feeding, Cleaning and Sanitation of Children in Nigeria

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Charity O. Igbokwe


This study investigated the influence of maternal occupation and the number of steady adults in the family in the child feeding, cleaning and sanitation (CFCS) practices of parents of children in day care centres in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.  Two research questions were answered and two hypotheses were tested. The population consisted of 12080 mothers of children (age from birth to 3 years) in the 604 government approved crèche/nursery schools in the State. A sample of 1200 mothers (respondents) was drawn from this population using stratified random sampling technique. The instrument used for data collection was a 46-item Feeding, Cleaning and Sanitation Practices Scale (FCSPS) adopted to evaluate CFCS practices of p mothers related to infancy. Means and standard deviations were used to answer the research questions while one-way Analysis of Variance was used to test the null hypotheses at 0.05 significant level. The findings revealed that maternal occupation and the number of steady adults in the family significantly influenced the CFCS practices of such parents. Civil servants performed significantly better than teachers in CFCS practices while teachers   performed significantly   better than traders and traders better than artisans and farmers. Further findings showed that CFCS practices of mothers is best when there are two or three steady adults in the family compared to when there is one or  more than three steady adults.  Among others, it was recommended that government and social welfare centres should assist nursing mothers who are artisans and traders in terms of knowledge and material support on CFCS practices. Parents should also limit the number of steady adults in the family to two or three to avoid the law of diminishing returns on the contributions of such adults to CFCS practices of mothers.

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