Kwanchit Sasiwongsaroj

Country: Thailand

Advisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chanya Sethaput
1. Prof. Dr. Patama Vapattanawong
2. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kathleen Ford

This study was undertaken to explore the inequalities in child mortality among nine ethnic groups in Thailand, including the Thai. This study used both quantitative and qualitative approaches. The 2000 population and housing census was employed to estimate the mortality rates for children under five (Under-five Mortality Rate: U5MR) by using an indirect demographic method. The factors contributing to the differences of child mortality among ethnic groups were investigated through an ethnographic approach based on Mosley and Chen conceptual model (1984). Karen and Mon were purposively selected to explore the mortality inequality in the village context in the Kanchanaburi province. The findings indicated that the U5MR was different among the nine ethnic groups throughout 1986-1996. The Chinese had the lowest rates followed by Thai, Khmer, Malay, and Mon, respectively, whereas ethnic hilltribes had higher rates than the former groups. The child mortality difference was mainly explained the by Mosley and Chen analytic model. The differences between U5MR were related to the socioeconomic status of a household. The ethnic groups with a higher socioeconomic status were more likely to have low mortality rates than their low socioeconomic status counterparts. Additionally, the findings from the qualitative method found a crucial factor, assimilation, that emerged beyond Mosley and Chen framework (1984). The Mon who had a higher probability of a child surviving than the Karen, habitually moved to settle close to Thai people. Their health perceptions and practices were shaped by Thai traditions that, in turn, led them to use health care services which benefited their children’s health and survival. Meanwhile, the Karen had a subsistence living in inaccessible locations leading them to have a lower assimilation than the Mon. Their low income and lack of health information and knowledge impeded the Karen from seeking professional health services. This study highlights the need for urgent policy initiatives to reduce the gap of child mortality, especially among ethnic hilltribes. An improvement in the socioeconomic status and access to health services may improve the chances of child survival among these groups.

Published Article:

1. Stange, G. & Sasiwongsaroj, K. (2020). Transcultural Lives of Myanmar Migrant Youths in Thailand: Language Acquisition, Self-perceived Integration, and Sense of Belonging. IQAS, 51 (3-4), 137–152.

2. Sasiwognsaroj K, Husa K, Wohlschläg W. “Fertility Decline and the Role of Culture –Thailand’s Demographic Challenges for the 21st Century” In Kurfürst, S and Wehner, S (eds), Southeast Asian Transformations. Urban and Rural Developments in the 21st century (pp. 125-152). Germany, Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2020.

3. Kimura, Y., Iwasaki, M., Ishimoto, Y., Sasiwongsaroj, K.  et al. (2019). Association between anorexia and poorchewing ability among community-dwelling older adults inJapan. Geriatr. Gerontol. Int. 19, 1290–1292.

4.Stange, G., Sakdapolrak, P., Sasiwongsaroj, K., & Kourek, M. (2019). Forced migration in Southeast Asia – A brief overview of current research. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 12(2), 249-265.

5.Sasiwongsaroj, k. & Burasith, Y. (2019). “Features and Challenges of an Ageing Population” In M.J. Montesano, T. Chong, T, & M. Heng (eds.), After the Coup: The National Council for Peace and Order Era and the Future of Thailand (pp. 357-380). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing.

6. Kimura Y, Iwasaki M, Ishimoto Y, et al. (2019). Association between anorexia and poor chewing ability among community-dwelling older adults in Japan. Geriatr. Gerontol. Int. 19, 1290–1292.

7. Sasiwongsaroj, k. & Burasith, Y. (2019). Managing Thailand’s Ageing Population. Perspective, 32, 1-15.

8. Iwasaki, M., Kimura, Y., Sasiwongsaroj, K.,  Kettratad-Pruksapong, M., Suksudaj, S., Ishimoto, Y., …Miyazaki, H. (2018). Association between objectively measured chewing ability and frailty: A cross-sectional study in central Thailand. Geriatric and Gerontology International, doi: 10.1111/ggi.13264

9. Burasith, Y. & Sasiwongsaroj, K. (2018). Promotion of Thai “value and dignity” of the elderly in the unban society. (การส่งเสริมค่านิยมไทย “คุณค่าและศักดิ์ศรี” ของผู้สูงอายุในสังคมเมือง). Journal of Language and Culture, 37 (2), 129-150.

10.Sasiwongsaroj, K. (2016). “Living together” in the era of migration (“การอยู่ร่วมกัน” ในยุคไร้พรมแดนจากการย้ายถิ่น). In K. Sasiwongsaroj, N. Doungphummes, & M. Meyer A (eds.), Living together in multicultural societies (การอยู่ร่วมกันในสังคมพหุวัฒนธรรม) (pp. 3-33). Bangkok, Charansanitwong Press.

11.Sakamoto, R., Okumiya, K., Ishine, M., Sasiwongsaroj, K. et al (2016). Predictors of difficulty in carrying out basic activities of daily living among the old-old: A 2-year community-based cohort study. Geriatric and Gerontology International, 16(2), 214-222.

12. Sasiwongsaroj, K ., Wada, T., Okumiya, K. et al. (2015). Buddhist social networks and health in old age: A study in central Thailand. Geriatric and Gerontology International, 15 (11), 1210-1218.  

13. Kiyohito, O., Sakamoto,  R., Fujisawa, M., Sasiwongsaroj, K. et al. (2015). Effect of Early Diagnosis and Lifestyle Modification on Depressive Symptoms in Community-Dwelling Elderly Adults with Glucose Intolerance: 5-Year Longitudinal Study Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 63(2), 393-395. 

14. Kiyohito, O., Sakamoto, R., Fujisawa, M., Sasiwongsaroj, K. et al. (2015). Effect of early diagnosis and lifestyle modification on functional activities in community-dwelling elderly adults with glucose intolerance: 5-year longitudinal study. the American Geriatrics Society, 63 (1), 190-192.

15. Sakamoto, R., Okumiya, K., Wang,  H., Sasiwongsaroj, K. et al. (2015). Oxidized Low Density Lipoprotein Among the Elderly in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Wilderness Environ Med, 26 (3), 343-349.

16. Sasiwongsaroj, K. (2014). Irregular immigrants from Myanmar, Cambodia and Lao PDR in Thailand: Trends and the difficulties they face. In K. Husa, A. Trupp & H. Wohlschlägl (eds.), Southeast Asian Mobility Transitions: Recent Trends in Tourism and Migration. University of Vienna.

17.Pornsiripongse, S. Sasiwongsaroj, K., & Ketjamnong, P. (2014). “Thai Buddhist temples: A religious capital approach for preparing Thailand towards the aging society” In P. Liamputtong (ed.), Contemporary Socio-Cultural and Political Perspectives in Thailand. Dordrecht, The Netherland: Springer.

Area of your interest:
Global ageing, cultural diversity and well-being



Doctor of Philosophy in Demography (International Program)
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