Family characteristics of female-headed households in Pakistan in the context of health promotion

Health Promot Int. 2022 Feb 17;37(1):daab111. doi: 10.1093/heapro/daab111.


Objective of this project is to describe characteristics of Pakistani women household heads and investigate effect differences with men in the context of health behavior. We used 2012 - 13 Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey data to conduct secondary data analysis of 10 868 households. In this article, methods that we described household head and household characteristics, and polio vaccination compliance as a proxy for health behavior. Univariate analysis was conducted to assess the relationship of household head gender with household characteristics and health behavior, first for the whole sample and then for currently married household heads. Significant relationships were entered in two multivariate logistic models. Results show that all demographic covariates were statistically significant (p < 0.05) except employment status. Adjusted associations were significant for age, marital status, wealth and ethnicity (p < 0.05). Polio compliance score was significantly higher for households headed by currently married men compared with currently married women, when adjusted for covariates and concluded certain household and head characteristic associations with gender suggest a greater likelihood of female-headed households, while male-headed households were associated with better polio vaccine compliance. Further research is needed with more complex health behavior composites to assess any relationship between gender and health behavior.

Keywords: Pakistan; family characteristics; head of household; health promotion.

MeSH terms

  • Employment*
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Pakistan
  • Socioeconomic Factors