3053.0: Monday, October 22, 2001 - Board 8

Abstract #30325

Role of maternal morbidity in measuring social inequality among low birth weight children

Lynn Ann Agre, MPH, RUTCOR, Rutgers University, 640 Bartholomew Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, 7324453079, agre@rci.rutgers.edu

The goal of this study is to determine the influence of maternal health status on measuring social inequality among low birth weight, using the National Longitudinal Survey on Youth (NLSY) Mother-Child Supplement. Low birth weight has previously been treated as a biological phenomenon, attributed to medical etiological factors, such as incomplete gestational age (less than thirty-seven weeks) due to preterm membrane rupture, preterm labor in singleton births, small for gestational age in twin births and poor maternal prenatal health care inputs, including lack of or substandard prenatal care. The resulting low birth weight population has been assessed for behavioral and cognitive developmental delay. However, social-environmental characteristics included in these outcome studies have concentrated on sociodemographics such as income, maternal education, with some emphasis on social support and cohesive networks. The need to evaluate these developmental outcomes in the social-environmental milieu suggests more than simply the incorporation of wider measures of parent-child relationship quality, and surrounding community-level assets for example, but the call for interactions between maternal health behavior characteristics and social inequalities. This project will first explore the predictors that determine low birth weight. The concept of social capital as a measure of social inequality, captured on the community, family and individual levels, will then be applied to this study population for its moderating effect on child health outcomes followed from birth through age fourteen. Behavioral/mental health problems, cognitive health including performance tests, and physical health, represented as body mass index, will be examined in relation to social capital.

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will examine maternal health behavior inputs affecting maternal morbidity and their relationship to low birth weight. 2. Participants will evaluate social inequality among low birth weight children compared to normal birth weight children from a social capital perspective. 3. Participants will compare the child health and well-being outcomes, including behavioral, cognitive and physical, of low birth weight children to normal weight children. 4. The role of social capital on the community, family and individual levels will be discussed in relation to social inequality and health status among populations, with implications for intervention.

Keywords: Low Birthweight, Measuring Social Inequality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 129th Annual Meeting of APHA