Food Should not be Forgotten: Impacts of Combined Cash Transfer Receipt and Food Security on Child Education and Cognition in South Africa and Malawi

Lorraine Sherr, Kathryn J Roberts, Mark Tomlinson, Sarah Skeen, Helen Mebrahtu, Sarah Gordon, Stefani du Toit, Katharina Haag, Lucie D Cluver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Social protection can take many forms. Both cash transfers and food security may have important contributions to child cognitive development. This study examines the potential impact of combinations of cash transfers and food security status on child cognitive development and educational outcomes. Cross-sectional data for 796 HIV-affected children in the Child Community Care study were utilised for this analysis. Children and caregivers completed interview schedules comprised of standardised items on socio-demographics, household data, cash grant receipt and food security status, school achievement, and cognition. A series of logistic and linear regression models and marginal effects analyses were undertaken to explore the impacts of differing levels of social protection (none; either cash grant receipt or food secure status or, both in combination) on child educational and cognitive outcomes. Although all children lived in poverty-stricken households, 20% (157/796) of children did not live in a household in receipt of a cash grant and did not report food security; 32.4% (258/796) reported either component of social protection and, 47.9% (381/796) received both measures of social protection in combination. Compared to no social protection, being in receipt of either component of social protection was found to be significantly associated with being in the correct class for age, higher scores of non-verbal cognition, and higher working memory scores. Receiving both social protection measures in combination was found to be significantly associated with reduced educational risk scores, improved odds of being in the correct class for age, regular school attendance, missing less than a week of school in the previous two weeks, higher scores on measures of nonverbal cognition, higher working memory scores, and learning new things more easily. Educational and cognitive outcomes for children can be bolstered by social protection measures (cash grant receipt or food security). Benefits are enhanced when social protection is received in combination. Such findings support the notion of synergistic social protection responses for children living in environments impacted by high levels of HIV burden and deprivation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Early online date11 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 11 Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Cash grant
  • Cognition
  • Education
  • Food security
  • Sub-saharan africa

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Food Should not be Forgotten: Impacts of Combined Cash Transfer Receipt and Food Security on Child Education and Cognition in South Africa and Malawi'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this