• Conditional independence;
  • Direct association;
  • Graphical chain models;
  • Indirect association;
  • Infant mortality;
  • Mosley and Chen framework

A graphical chain modelling approach is used to study the determinants of neonatal and post-neonatal mortality in Malaysia. This approach provides an easily interpretable empirical description and illustrates explicitly the conditional independence structure between each pair of variables. The interpretation can be read directly from a mathematical graph. Besides examining the direct association of each determinant on mortality, we also examine the effects of socioeconomic determinants on intermediate determinants to understand the pathways through which the socioeconomic determinants affect the chance of mortality. The data analysed come from the second Malaysian Family Life Survey, fielded between August 1988 and January 1989.