Abstract

This article examines the influence of maternal status, socioeconomic status of the household, and household composition on the mobility of children aged 0–14 in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa, from 1999 to 2008. Using data from the Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance System, we found that children whose mothers were temporary migrants, living elsewhere, or dead had higher odds of moving than children whose mothers were coresident. Older children and children living in richer households faced lower odds of mobility. For children whose mothers were coresident, there was no effect of maternal substitutes on child mobility. However, among children whose mothers were temporary migrants or living elsewhere, the presence of prime-aged and elderly females lowered the odds of mobility. For maternal orphans, the presence of elderly women in the household lowered their odds of mobility. The results underscore the importance of examining the conditions under which children move in order to strengthen service delivery targeted at safeguarding children’s well-being.

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