The Black And White Infant Mortality Gap Essay

1577 WordsDec 15, 20167 Pages
associations in a pathway model connecting race-based discrimination, stress, and negative preterm birth outcomes in African American women. After a great deal of research and strong evidence to support such claims, I have come to the conclusion that the cause of the black and white infant mortality gap can be attributed to the near two-fold increased rates of low birth weight and preterm births, and the near three-fold increased rates of very low birth weight and very preterm births among black infants. However, the cause of the racial disparities between such birth outcome rates remains largely unexplained. Most studies focus on differential exposures to risk, such as high teen pregnancy rates, single motherhood, lower education levels, poverty, and even genetic causes, but these factors do not adequately account for the racial disparities in birth outcomes. Based off of the studies previously mentioned, the lack of prenatal support, social support, and high allostatic load appear to be some of the main factors that contribute to accounting for the black and white infant mortality gap. As a result, researches have recently proposed an alternative approach to examining racial-ethnic disparities in birth outcomes using a “life course perspective”. A life course perspective, as defined by scientist Michael Lu, is known to “conceptualize birth outcomes as the end product of not only the nine months of pregnancy but the entire life course of the mother before the pregnancy.”
Open Document