This paper describes a study of the psycho-social factors involved in the rate of catch-up growth, over a period of eighteen months, exhibition by children treated at the Gold Fields Nutrition Unit. Poverty, social support, home environment and maternal resources were assessed, as was the quality of the mother-child bond, classified according to attachment type. The result indicated that the global influences of poverty and social support had no direct relationships with children's weight gain, but that the quality of attachment and the mother's resources were significantly associated with catch-up growth. Suggestions are offered for ways in which primary health care workers can help to improve caregiver-child relationship, maternal resources and social support for mothers of infants at risk for undernutrition.
L. Richter, M. Bac, I. Hay
South African Family Practice