Analysis of Rural Indonesian Mothers’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs Regarding Stunting

Main Article Content

Amanda C. Haines Allyn C. Jones Heidi Kriser Elizabeth L. Dunn Tyler Graff Cudjoe Bennett Muhamad Hasan Mary Linehan Ahmad Syafiq Scott Torres Kirk A. Dearden P. Cougar Hall Joshua H. West Benjamin T. Crookston


Background: Stunting affects 36% of children in Indonesia. While the biological causes and physiological effects of stunting are well documented, research on the determinants of caregiver understanding of stunting is limited.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore factors associated with rural Indonesian mothers’ attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs regarding stunting.  These findings can support the efforts of policymakers and program planners in Indonesia to reduce the prevalence of stunting.

Methods: Researchers conducted 1-hour, in-home interviews with 2100 mothers of children 6-23 months of age throughout five rural regions in Indonesia. These regions were selected because of the high prevalence of stunting, representativeness, and accessibility. The interviews assessed socio-economic and educational level, feeding practices, nutritional and stunting knowledge, sources of nutrition and stunting knowledge, and acute child health status. Regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with respondent attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs toward stunting.

Results: A negative relationship was found between having received information about stunting more than six months prior and knowledge of stunting (ẞ=-0.24, P=0.001). Having never received information on child nutrition was negatively associated with stunting beliefs (ẞ=0.20, P<0.0001). Although there was no significant difference in amount of knowledge between those who had received their knowledge about stunting from a professional versus the internet, having primarily received information from a neighbor/friend, was negatively associated with knowledge of stunting (ẞ=-0.20, P=0.007).  This finding was the same for stunting beliefs (ẞ=-0.40, P<0.0001).

Conclusion: Caregiver knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs toward stunting can be significantly impacted by their exposure to both accurate and inaccurate information. From this research, initiatives aimed at reducing stunting in Indonesian children should consider ways to integrate new education systems that increase the range of exposure and incorporate use of the social network in order to impact health behavior change.

Keywords: Stunting, Child Nutrition, Theory of Planned Behavior, Indonesia

Article Details

How to Cite
HAINES, Amanda C. et al. Analysis of Rural Indonesian Mothers’ Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs Regarding Stunting. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 11, nov. 2018. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 july 2024. doi:
Research Articles


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