Study Design

The precursor to the JAMO Study was an NIH funded R21 project that ran from 2014-2016 in Korogocho. This first project developed and tested the feasibility of collecting reliable kinship structure and support data from single mothers in Korogocho. Kinship data were collected using the Kinship Support Tree (KST) from the child’s perspective.

Kinship Support Tree

The KST instrument is being adapted and expanded for the JAMO study. The other innovation in the JAMO study is the development of a time-varying measure of union formalization (UF) that captures the involvement of kin in the protracted process through which unions are formalized. Using a mixed methods, longitudinal approach, the project has the following aims:

  • Examine the effects of union formalization and kinship support on children’s physical growth and early childhood development (ECD).
  • Assess the extent to which union formalization moderates the effect of kinship support on physical growth and ECD outcomes and kinship support mediates the effect of union formalization on physical growth and ECD.
  • Assess the extent to which key intermediate outcomes, namely, breastfeeding/nutrition, maternal mental health, illness management, and child stimulation explain the relationships among kinship support, union formalization and physical growth and ECD.
  • Examine the change in child outcomes across 6 waves of data collection.

Quantitative Component

Target sample: 1,250 children ages 0-24 months with co-residing mothers aged 18-29.

Number of survey waves: 6

Wave 1: March – June 2022 (N=1,203)

Wave 2: September – October 2022 (N= 1,150)

Wave 3: March – April 2023 (N= 1,194)

Wave 4: September – October 2023

Wave 5: March – April 2024

Wave 6: September – October 2024

Qualitative Component

Target sample: 50 mothers drawn from survey AND 30 biological fathers or current partners

Number of interview rounds: 3

Round 1: July – August 2022 (completed)

Round 2: July – August 2023

Round 3: July -August 2024


Ethical Clearance

The JAMO project has been given human subjects approval by the University of Maryland Institutional Review Board and AMREF Health Africa in Kenya.