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Hemoglobin, Growth, and Attention of Infants in Southern Ethiopia


  • This research has been undertaken as part of the Fogarty International Center’s program: “Brain Disorders in the Developing World: Research Across the Lifespan” NIH R21 TW06729 & NICHD R01 053053. Support was also provided by the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates Grant SES-0552839 awarded to Dr. Melanie Page, Department of Psychology, Oklahoma State University. We would like to thank the families who participated in our study, the research assistants in Ethiopia and the United States, as well as Barbara Stoecker, Yewelsew Abebe, Tesfaye Woltamo, Alemzewed Roba, Laura Hubbs-Tait, and James Grice.

concerning this article should be addressed to Nicki L. Aubuchon-Endsley, Department of Psychology, 116 N. Murray, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA. Electronic mail may be sent to


Male and female infants from rural Ethiopia were tested to investigate relations among hemoglobin (Hb), anthropometry, and attention. A longitudinal design was used to examine differences in attention performance from 6 (= 24.9 weeks, = 89) to 9 months of age (M = 40.6 weeks, = 85), differences hypothesized to be related to changes in iron status and growth delays. Stunting (length-for-age z scores < −2.0) and attention performance, t(30) = −2.42, = .022, worsened over time. Growth and Hb predicted attention at 9 months, R2 = .15, < .05, but not at 6. The study contributes to the knowledge base concerning the relations among Hb, early growth, and attention.