Background: Research has shown that stunting increases the risk of child death and morbidity due to non-communicable diseases. Stunting may lead to impaired cognitive and motor development and eventually low learning achievement. The prevalence of stunting in children under five in Ratu Samban sub-district of Bengkulu in 2014 was 20.33%. This study aimed to examine the association between family characteristics and stunting in Ratu Samban, Bengkulu.
Subject and Method: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at several integrated family health posts (Posyandu), in the working area of Ratu Samban Community Health Center, Bengkulu, in June 2017. A sample of 102 children aged 12-59 months and their mothers were selected for this study. The dependent variable was the stunting. The independent variables are maternal height, education, knowledge, paternal education, family size, and family income level. Data of stunting were measured by anthropometric measurement of height by age (Height for Age). Other variable data were collected using questionnaire. Data were analyzed by Chi-square.
Results: The prevalence of stunting was 31.37%. The risk of stunting increased with short maternal height (OR= 1.82; 95% CI= 0.76 to 4.31; p= 0.257), low maternal education (OR= 1.06; 95% CI= 0.43 to 2.62; p= 1.000), low maternal knowledge (OR= 3.83; 95% CI= 1.57 to 9.32; p= 0.005), low paternal education (OR= 2.09; 95% CI= 0.87 to 5.01; p= 0.151), bigger family size (OR= 1.81; 95% CI= 0.78 to 4.20; p= 0.245), and low family income (OR= 1.69; 95% CI= 0.72 to 3.96; p= 0.320), but none of these variables was statistically significant.
Conclusion: This study has provided weak evidence that stunting is influenced by maternal height, maternal education, maternal knowledge, paternal education, family size, and family income.
Keywords: stunting, family characteristics, children under five