Role of discrimination and resilience on birth weight: A systematic examination in a sample of Black, Latina, and White women

Kristin D. Mickelson, Pooja Doehrman, Claudia Chambers, Hayley Seely, Marianna Kaneris, Rachel Stancl, Chelsea Stewart, Shea Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Health inequities begin before birth with Black women being more likely to have low birth weight babies than White and Latina women. Although both Latina and Black women experience discrimination, only Black women appear to be affected. Methods: In this study using medical records and face-to-face interviews, we systematically examined the role of discrimination (daily, environmental, vicarious) on continuous birth weight (controlling for gestational age and baby’s gender) in a sample of 329 Black, Latina, and White pregnant women, as well as whether familism, prayer, and/or discrimination attribution buffered this association. Results: Linear regression analyses revealed that only prayer acted as a resilience factor, with Latina women appearing to benefit from prayer in the link between vicarious and daily discrimination on birth weight conditional on gestational age, whereas Black women showed no moderation and White women showed an exacerbation in the link. Discussion: The results of this study suggest that sociocultural norms may play a role in explaining the Latina epidemiological paradox, but more research is needed to understand the significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWomen's Health
Volume18
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • birth weight
  • discrimination
  • maternal health disparities
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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