Age, Race, and Early-Life Disadvantage Among College-Educated Mothers Impacts Birth Weights

According to a new study by researchers at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, Black infants experience disproportionately high risks of low birth weight compared with non-Hispanic White infants, particularly among mothers with high educational attainment and greater socioeconomic advantage. The study shows how maternal early-life disadvantage contributes to ongoing racial birth weight inequities among U.S. college-educated mothers, specifically declining birth weights with age among Black mothers.

Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, researchers examined racial inequities in birth weight by maternal age and early-life disadvantage using completed reproductive histories among college-educated mothers at ages 33 to 44 years. Early-life disadvantage was measured using a study-based composite measure of early-life concentrated poverty and social disadvantage in homes, neighborhoods, and schools.

The results showed that among Black mothers who experienced high early-life disadvantage, a one-year increase in maternal age at delivery was associated with lower birth weight. Similar declines were not found among Black mothers with low early-life disadvantage. Non-Hispanic White mothers experienced increased birth weight with maternal age, which did not significantly vary by early-life disadvantage.

The full study, “Racial Inequities in Birth Weight by Maternal Age Among College-Educated Mothers: The Role of Early Disadvantage,” was published on the website of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. It may be accessed here.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

Report Established by State Senator Art Haywood Uncovers Racism in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education

"Ultimately, Pennsylvania's leaders and institutions should respect the dignity of all students," says Senator Art Haywood. "The work to ensure that dignity is intact for Pennsylvania's Students of Color continues with this report in hopes that one day the work will no longer be required."

Cynthia Gyamfi-Bannerman Appointed President of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine

"I appreciate the support I have received from my faculty and trainee colleagues here at UC San Diego along with colleagues from around the world," says Dr. Gyamfi-Bannerman. "Together we will work to advance our field and our reach, improving patient outcomes and eliminating health disparities."

Rate of Black Homeownership in America Remains Virtually Unchanged Since 2012

The National Association of Realtors has found that although homeownership rates in American are steadily increasing, the rate of Black homeownership has experienced significantly less growth than White, Asian, and Hispanic homeownership since 2012.

Safiya George Named President of the University of the Virgin Islands

“As a servant leader, I am confident I will be an effective President for the University of the Virgin Islands and will remain humble and grounded with a sincere desire to improve outcomes and the lives of students, faculty, staff, and the community," says Safiya George, who will assume the role of president of the University of the Virgin Islands this summer.

Featured Jobs