Predictors of Health Among Refugee Adults from Myanmar and the Development of Their Children

Muennig, Peter A.; Boulmier-Darden, Prairie; Khouzam, Noor; Zhu, Wenyi; Hancock, Paul

The objective of this study is to attempt to understand predictors of health among adult migrants from Myanmar to Thailand and predictors of development among their children. EQ5D5L scores and sociodemographic data were obtained among adult household members of children from two schools on the Thai/Myanmar border. Children were administered Ages and Stages questionnaires (ASQs). OLS and logistic regressions were used to examine predictors (e.g., witnessing gunfire) of various outcome measures (e.g., ASQ scores among children). In logistic regression analyses, maternal literacy proved to be a very strong predictor of the child’s ASQ communication [17 ASQ points out of 60; 95 % confidence interval (CI) 3, 31 points], problem solving (25 points; 95 % CI 4, 45 points), and social skills (12 points; 95 % CI 1, 23 points) scores. A lower number of habitants/room predicted significantly better dentition among children [odds ratio (OR) 1.08, 95 % CI 1.01, 1.67] and better social skills on the child’s ASQ (12 points; 95 % CI 1, 23 points). Appliance ownership was a weak predictor of adult health, with those who own a refrigerator having about an 8 % higher score on the EQ5D5L (1.08; 95 % CI 1.01, 1.16). Finally, parents who witnessed gunfire tended to have children with ASQ scores that were 14 points lower than average in problem solving (95 % CI −24, −4). Maternal education programs may have a very large impact on the development of their children. However, identifying those households at greatest need of resources is not a simple task, and will require a more complete census of communities at risk.

Geographic Areas


Also Published In

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

More About This Work

Academic Units
Health Policy and Management
Published Here
November 15, 2016