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Parental investment in growth and development: Cape Verdean migrants in a portuguese poor neighbourhood

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posted on 29.08.2012, 10:25 by Joelma Almeida
Background Cape Verde has produced migrants over the centuries. Its history and geography have compelled males and females to leave their homeland in search of resources to invest in their family s survival and development. Literature on parental investment has evidenced the association between investment in embodied capital during infancy and early childhood and its outcomes at later stages. However, these studies seldom address migrant population. Aim This study aims to gain a better understanding of the relationship in a migratory context between parental investment in infancy and its outcomes in prepuberty embodied capital, among Cape Verdean children living in Cova da Moura, a deprived neighbourhood in Lisbon Metropolitan Area, Portugal. Methods A mixed method s approach combining quantitative with qualitative studies - is used. The prepubertal capital of the 221 schoolchildren attending the basic school located in Cova da Moura is assessed through Anthropometry and educational records analysis. The parental investment in infancy of 75 is analysed through interviews with parents and combined documentation (e.g. health booklets, reports, legislation). Results The key findings are: 1)Children are born and raised between 1997 and 2002, a time characterized by a favourable socioeconomic development in Portugal in general and Cova da Moura in particular. 2)In spite of living in a so called deprived neighbourhood , the school children linear growth falls into the healthy range of the III NHANES growth reference, and it is slightly better than the linear growth of other groups of children measured in Portugal in late 1980s and early 2000. School-oriented cognitive development is not adequate, however. A third of the students have not a regular school performance. 3)Parental investment in infancy is significantly associated to prepubertal physical growth and school-oriented cognitive development. The size effect is, however, small.



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© Joelma Almeida

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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