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Ann Behav Med. 2013 Feb;45(1):13-23. doi: 10.1007/s12160-012-9404-3.

Maternal experiences with everyday discrimination and infant birth weight: a test of mediators and moderators among young, urban women of color.

Author information

  • 1Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT 06510, USA. valerie.earnshaw@gmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Racial/ethnic disparities in birth weight persist within the USA.

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study is to examine the association between maternal everyday discrimination and infant birth weight among young, urban women of color as well as mediators (depressive symptoms, pregnancy distress, and pregnancy symptoms) and moderators (age, race/ethnicity, and attributions of discrimination) of this association.

METHODS:

A total of 420 women participated (14-21 years old; 62 % Latina, 38 % Black), completing measures of everyday discrimination and moderators during their second trimester of pregnancy and mediators during their third trimester. Birth weight was primarily recorded from medical record review.

RESULTS:

Path analysis demonstrated that everyday discrimination was associated with lower birth weight. Depressive symptoms mediated this relationship, and no tested factors moderated this relationship.

CONCLUSIONS:

Given the association between birth weight and health across the lifespan, it is critical to reduce discrimination directed at young, urban women of color so that all children can begin life with greater promise for health.

PMID:
22927016
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3562380
Free PMC Article
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