Volume 19 - Article 45 | Pages 1603–1634

Children’s school participation and HIV/AIDS in rural Malawi:: The role of parental knowledge and perceptions

By Monica J. Grant

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Date received:07 May 2007
Date published:12 Sep 2008
Word count:7152
Keywords:Africa, education, health uncertainty, HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS testing, orphans, risk perception


Studies of the relationship between HIV/AIDS and children’s educational attainment largely focus on the direct impacts of parental illness and death, overlooking the potential indirect impact that parental knowledge and perceptions of their HIV status may have on children’s school enrollment. Drawing on both quantitative and qualitative evidence from Malawi, this paper finds that women’s real and perceived anticipation of future health shocks has a positive impact on their children’s educational attainment. Interventions that target health uncertainty, such as HIV testing programs, may make a significant contribution to maintaining children’s educational attainment in communities affected by HIV/AIDS.

Author's Affiliation

Monica J. Grant - University of Wisconsin–Madison, United States of America [Email]

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