Understanding Caregiver Capabilities

Effective interventions for improving maternal and child nutrition have been documented and have led the Scaling Up Nutrition movement. These efforts have focused on increasing coverage of the interventions, yet there is lack of evidence regarding a caregiver’s understanding and sustained practice of positive nutrition practices at the household level.  UNICEF’s original conceptual model of child survival, growth, and development identifies the role of care as practices performed by caregivers that affect nutrient intake, health, and the cognitive and psychosocial development of the child. In order to perform care practices that influence nutrition, the caregiver needs sufficient education, time, and support.

Our current research on caregiver capabilities explores the impacts of mental health, physical health, stress, social support, parenting self-efficacy, autonomy (access to and control of household resources) and workload (including perceived time stress) on understanding and utilization of maternal and child nutrition interventions.


MICa Prenatal Calcium Supplementation: Implementation research on prenatal micronutrient supplementation to prevent preeclampsia and anemia.

Child Feeding Practices in New York StateThe Influence of Past Food Insecurity on Parents’ Use of Child Feeding Practices Recommended to Prevent Child Obesity.

Healthy Children, Healthy Families: Parents making a difference!

The SHINE Trial: Sanitation, Hygiene and Infant Nutrition Efficacy (SHINE) Trial in rural Zimbabwe.

One Health for Babies & Livestock: Preventing Fecal Exposure and Environmental Enteropathy in rural Zambia.


Katherine L. DickinRebecca StoltzfusGina ChapleauDadirai Fundira, Stephanie Martin, Rukundo Kambarami Benedict, Brie Reid, Cynthia Matare


Zongrone, A. (2015). Behavior change intervention research in infant and young child feeding: understanding caregiver capabilities, self-efficacy, and the critical decisions that define infant feeding trajectories in Bangladesh (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from eCommons.