Date Thesis Awarded

4-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Interdisciplinary Studies

Advisor

Scott Ickes

Committee Member

David Aday

Committee Member

Camilla Buchanan

Abstract

This paper examines the potential implications of incorporating a framework of maternal and community capabilities into interventions targeting the global burden of childhood diarrheal disease. To assess these maternal and community capacities as they relate to hygiene-related infectious diseases – both diarrheal and parasitic – primary, interview-based qualitative research was conducted in a rural Nicaraguan community, in conjunction with a large cross-sectional data analysis of maternal and household determinants from demographic health surveys pulled from 17 countries of interest. I propose that these capabilities play a critical role in mediating the impact of diarrheal diseases on children, and through this paper explore the key areas that would be most effective to target in an intervention effort, comparing them to the dominant focus areas in current global health diarrheal prevention projects to identify existing gaps and propose further directions for study. Logistical analysis of maternal empowerment variables identified through a review of the literature in conjunction with interview data from mothers in Nicaragua demonstrates both the important protective effects of maternal social support and educational capacity on child diarrheal diseases, and the complexities in regional and child-age variation that must be taken into consideration when structuring hygiene-focused health interventions.