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Title:Socio-demographic and service provision characteristics associated with primary school attendance among the most vulnerable children in Tanzania
Author(s):Ng'ondi, Naftali
Director of Research:Eamon, Mary K.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Eamon, Mary K.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Ostler, Teresa A.; Hughes, Robert; Ackerson, Barry J.
Department / Program:School of Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Most Vulnerable Children
People with AIDS Dar-es-salaam Archdiocese (PASADA)
Primary School Attendance
Abstract:The current study examined the associations between service provision and the socio-demographic characteristics of the Most Vulnerable Children (MVC) in Tanzania (N = 234) and of their guardians and MVC’s primary school attendance. An ecological perspective and feminist and stress theories were employed to explain the enhancing and impeding factors for MVC’s primary school outcomes. This study has contributed more than previous research in identifying the services provided by a faith-based community agency in Tanzania--the Pastoral Activities and Services for People with AIDS Dar-es-salaam Archdiocese (PASADA)--and the socio-demographic characteristics of the MVC and their guardians that predict the MVC’s days of primary school attendance. For lack of randomized treatment and control groups, the study made a primary contribution by employing a residualized change model or a lagged dependent variable to adjust for selection bias. This involved using pre- and post-test measures (referred to as Time 1 and Time 2, respectively) of MVC’s primary school attendance during 40 days before and after receiving services from PASADA for a 2-month period. To adjust for selection bias, the Time 1 measure of school attendance was placed into an Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression model predicting Time 2 school attendance. Data on the MVC’s and the guardians’ socio-demographic characteristics and the types of services provided were obtained from PASADA, while data on the MVC’s school attendance came from the schools that the MVC attended. This study provided descriptive statistics on Time 1 and Time 2 measures of school attendance, the services provided, and MVC’s and their guardians’ socio-demographic characteristics. The OLS residualized change model determined whether the services provided and the social-demographic characteristics predicted MVC’s Time 2 school attendance. The findings indicate that the MVC experienced an average increase of 7.02 days of primary school attendance after receiving services from PASADA for a 2-month period. Among the ten types of services the MVC received, the most common were school uniforms (94%) and school supplies (93%), while the least common included support meetings (6%) and food assistance (3%). Results from the OLS residualized change model determined that providing school fees, food assistance, and support meetings were all positively and statistically significantly related to MVC’s school attendance at Time 2. For the MVC’s socio-demographic characteristics, only MVC’s gender was statistically significant, and it was negative. That is, male MVC compared with female MVC, attended fewer days of school at Time 2. None of the socio-demographic characteristics of the MVC’s guardians reached statistical significance. The results of the OLS multivariate residualized model (controlling for Time 1 school attendance) were contrasted with those from the traditional OLS model. The adjusted R2 of the residualized change model, which accounted for about 28% of additional variation in Time 2 school attendance, revealed that the Time 1 school attendance measure is a strong predictor of future attendance. The current study has several limitations. These include exclusion of vulnerable children who lived either in the streets or in institutional foster centers and those hidden in domestic work settings. Despite the limitations, the findings of this research have important social work practice and social policy implications for improving the MVC’s primary educational outcomes.
Issue Date:2012-06-27
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Naftali Ng'ondi
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-06-27
Date Deposited:2012-05

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