Racial segregation and maternal smoking during pregnancy: Amultilevel analysis using the racial segregation interaction index

Tse Chuan Yang, Carla Shoff, Aggie J. Noah, Nyesha Black, Corey S. Sparks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Drawing from both the place stratification and ethnic enclave perspectives, we use multilevel modeling to investigate the relationships between women's race/ethnicity (i.e., non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Asian, and Hispanic) and maternal smoking during pregnancy, and examine if these relationships are moderated by racial segregation in the continental United States. The results show that increased interaction with whites is associated with increased probability of maternal smoking during pregnancy, and racial segregation moderates the relationships between race/ethnicity and maternal smoking. Specifically, living in a less racially segregated area is related to a lower probability of smoking during pregnancy for black women, but it could double and almost triple the probability of smoking for Asian women and Hispanic women, respectively. Our findings provide empirical evidence for both the place stratification and ethnic enclave perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-36
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 2014



  • Maternal smoking
  • Multilevel models
  • Pregnancy
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Racial segregation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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