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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3922

Title: The Effect of Maternal Psychosocial Stress on Infant Birth Weight: A Retrospective Cohort Study
Authors: Alonge, Olanike
Keywords: Public Health;Stress;Infants;Birth Weight
Issue Date: 30-Nov-2012
Abstract: Background: Low birth weight (LBW) is a persistent public health challenge and one of the leading causes of death in the first year of life among non-anomalous infants in the United States. Existing literature suggest an association between prenatal stress and LBW. However, evidence from individual studies has not been consistent. Objectives: The purposes of the study are to examine the effect of stressful life events (SLE) on LBW and to further explore difference in effect across racial/ethnic groups to provide evidence to guide service and policy development at the Maternal, Child and Family Health Division (MCFH). Methods: Using the Pennsylvania 2009 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data merged with electronic birth records, we conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of a sample of 858 women who delivered a live infant in Pennsylvania. We weighted and quantified maternal reported SLE in categories, tertiles, SLE domains (financial, emotional, traumatic, and spouse-related), and SLE domain categories. The main outcome was LBW. Results: Maternal stress was significantly associated with increased risks of LBW in all women. Financial stress was independently associated with LBW among Non-Hispanic Black mothers. While, spouse-related stress was significantly associated with LBW among Non-Hispanic White mothers. We found no significant interaction effect between race/ethnicity and maternal stress on LBW. Conclusions: Maternal stress has an effect on infant birth weight, and the effect may be different across racial/ethnic groups. Since MCFH serves primarily African American mothers, policies and programs that will target financial problems are crucial in improving birth outcomes in this population.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3922
Appears in Collections:Health Sciences Theses and Dissertations

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