Composite Measures for SES and Conducive Household Environments

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by   Jonathan Seiden 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    Sarah Strader
    Participant

    – For the household measure, is there a composite measure/index of responses that Save has found corresponds to a household environment that is conducive for child development?

    – Same question for socioeconomic status. Has Save the Children used IDELA-HE to create an index of SES?

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    Jonathan Seiden
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    Hi Sarah,

    Great questions! Let me address them one by one:

    For the household measure, is there a composite measure/index of responses that Save has found corresponds to a household environment that is conducive for child development?

    We don’t have a standardized way of measuring the overall household environment, but we often create individual indices for reading materials, toys, and home learning activities. We usually create indices for the “total number of types of X” reported by the caregiver. We can then generate variables for the total number of types of toys and reading materials (and sometimes combine this index to create the overall “Home Learning Environment”). With the home learning activities, we usually create a composite for “any” caregiver, and then also analyze it by the mother and father reported activities.

    Same question for socioeconomic status. Has Save the Children used IDELA-HE to create an index of SES?

    We take a similar approach to this issue as well. We can create a measure of “total number of types of household possessions” as a proxy for SES.

    Obviously, these approaches are a bit reductionist because we are assuming that all types of possessions, toys, reading materials, etc. contribute equally. You may want to use more sophisticated measures such as factor analysis to address these limitations. The trade off is then how to communicate your results. It’s relatively easy to understand that, on average, one additional reading material was associated with an X p.p. change in IDELA score. It’s more complicated when you condense variables with other methods. One option would be to use those other methods, but then rely on quantiles to communicate your results.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by   Jonathan Seiden.
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