177842 Exploring Adverse Birth Outcomes Among African American Women with Means: Revealing a New Population

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kimberly Farris, PhD, MSW , Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Health researchers have long noted racial disparities in birth outcomes, including pre-term delivery, low birth weight, and infant mortality. Recent literature has shown that African American women with higher levels of education and income are more likely to have adverse birth outcomes including low birth weight and pre-term deliveries, as well as fetal death. The initial thought is that the inverse relationship would be found such that women with higher levels of income and education would have greater opportunities for higher quality health care and more access thus leading to lower levels of adverse birth outcomes. While researchers have focused on socioeconomic and behavioral explanations, few have solely on examining psychosocial factors among African American women with higher education and income. The significance of this issue in regards to addressing disparities in reproductive health warrants further investigation. The purpose of this session is to initiate a dialogue that would identify potential methods allowing researchers and service providers to reach African American women who may not be traditionally considered disenfranchised in terms of socioeconomic status factors such as income and education but still experience adverse birth outcomes. Furthermore, the discussion would also focus on conceptualizing potential psychosocial factors that may predict adverse birth outcomes among this population, developing a model that examines the extent to which these factors affect adverse birth outcomes, and exploring innovative methods to gather data on recruitment strategies of participants as well as other issues of importance such as understanding availability of service provision.

Learning Objectives:
1.Consider the value of identifying strategies to reach women of color from underrepresented groups but are not considered “disenfranchised”. 2.Understand the importance of expanding the concept and perception of the term “disenfranchised” as it relates to this population. 3.Engage in a dialogue that focuses on identifying conceptual models and variables that could potentially explain the new emerging trend found in reproductive health disparities.

Keywords: Women, Reproductive Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Because this research is my original work
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.