Correlation between Catch-up Growth in Early Childhood with Cognitive Ability among School-Aged Children (10–12 Years): A Longitudinal Study


  • Avliya Quratul Marjan Public Health Science Study Program, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Ratu Sartika Department of Public Health Nutrition, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia



Catch-up growth, Cognitive ability, Early childhood, Stunting


BACKGROUND: Children’s cognitive abilities are influenced by the nutritional condition of children in early childhood. Catch-up growth in early childhood affects cognitive abilities at school age.

AIM: This study aims to analyze the effect of catch-up growth in early childhood on the cognitive abilities of school-aged children in Indonesia.

METHODS: This study was a cohort study incorporating 10 years of follow-up using three waves of secondary data (1997, 2000, and 2007) from the Indonesia Family Life Survey. Research studies and data analysis were carried out from April to September 2021. The initial data collection of the study was conducted in 1997 when the children were 0–23 months old, then followed in 2000 (age 3–5 years) and 2007 (age 10–12 years). The study subjects were 537 children aged 0–23 months in 1997. Cognitive ability was measured using the Raven Progressive Matrices method. Statistical analysis for cognitive ability scores with catch-up growth was carried out using one-way analysis of variance and multivariate analysis using the generalized linear model.

RESULTS: Significant differences were observed in the cognitive ability scores of normal children and stunted children who did not experience catch-up growth (p<0.001), but the cognitive scores of normal children are not significantly different from the stunting catch-up growth group. Other factors that affect the cognitive ability score were as follows: (1) Child factors consist of child stunting status, head circumference, hemoglobin levels, duration of breastfeeding, and complete basic immunization history; (2) parental factors such as father’s occupation, parental education, and number of parity; (3) household socioeconomic factors (household income and wealth index); and (4) environmental factors (housing area, father’s smoking habit, defecation facilities, and household drinking water sources).

CONCLUSION: Cognitive abilities of school-age children were most influenced by catch-up growth, stunting status, duration of breastfeeding, number of parity, father’s education, father’s occupation, and father’s smoking habit. Children who experience catch-up growth have better cognitive abilities than stunted non-catch-up group or who experience stunting during early life.


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How to Cite

Marjan AQ, Sartika R. Correlation between Catch-up Growth in Early Childhood with Cognitive Ability among School-Aged Children (10–12 Years): A Longitudinal Study. Open Access Maced J Med Sci [Internet]. 2022 Jan. 3 [cited 2022 Dec. 9];10(T8):23-9. Available from: