Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Joachim Singelmann


This dissertation examines the effect of increases in the mother's level of education on the likelihood of diarrheal morbidity among Sudanese children aged 6 to 23 months. Maximum likelihood logistic regression models are used in the analysis. The logit estimates obtained from these models revealed that children of mothers who are illiterate run on average more than 10 times the risk of diarrhea as that run by children to mothers with a senior secondary or higher education. Slight increases in the mother's education, as indicated by an incomplete primary school education, reduce the likelihood of diarrhea by more than 50%. Further reductions in the likelihood of diarrhea occur when the child' s mother completes primary school. Children of mothers who completed junior secondary school education run risks of diarrheal morbidity similar to those experienced by children of mothers in the low risk senior secondary or higher educational category. The analysis carried out in the course of the dissertation clearly indicates that the effects exerted by increases in maternal education on the likelihood of diarrhea are beneficial. The major implication of this study for countries like the Sudan, which continue to debate the place of women in society and ponder the nature of the effects that increases in female education may have, is clear: policies that aim at reducing female enrollment in higher educational institutions will be counterproductive. Development and health policies are unlikely to attain their objectives if restrictions are placed on how far females in Sudan can advance on the path of education. Any limitation on female educational achievement can only signal future problems in the welfare of this country's, or any country's, children.