Indicators of Family Care for Development for Use in Multicountry Surveys


  • Patricia Kariger Community Health and Human Development, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
  • Edward A Frongillo University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
  • Patrice Engle Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Pia M Rebello Britto Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • Sara M Sywulka Food for the Hungry, Washington, DC
  • Purnima Menon International Food Policy Research Institute, Delhi



Child, Development, Disciplinary measures, Family care index, Family care indicators, Parenting


Indicators of family care for development are essential for ascertaining whether families are providing their children with an environment that leads to positive developmental outcomes. This project aimed to develop indicators from a set of items, measuring family care practices and resources important for caregiving, for use in epidemiologic surveys in developing countries. A mixed method (quantitative and qualitative) design was used for item selection and evaluation. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were conducted to examine the validity of candidate items in several country samples. Qualitative methods included the use of global expert panels to identify and evaluate the performance of each candidate item as well as in-country focus groups to test the content validity of the items. The quantitative methods included analyses of item-response distributions, using bivariate techniques. The selected items measured two family care practices (support for learning/stimulating environment and limit-setting techniques) and caregiving resources (adequacy of the alternate caregiver when the mother worked). Six play-activity items, indicative of support for learning/stimulating environment, were included in the core module of UNICEFs Multiple Cluster Indictor Survey 3. The other items were included in optional modules. This project provided, for the first time, a globally-relevant set of items for assessing family care practices and resources in epidemiological surveys. These items have multiple uses, including national monitoring and cross-country comparisons of the status of family care for development used globally. The obtained information will reinforce attention to efforts to improve the support for development of children.


J HEALTH POPUL NUTR 2012 Dec;30(4):472-486


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How to Cite

Kariger, P., Frongillo, E. A., Engle, P., Britto, P. M. R., Sywulka, S. M., & Menon, P. (2013). Indicators of Family Care for Development for Use in Multicountry Surveys. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 30(4), 472–486.



Original Papers