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The Effects of Racial Density and Income Incongruity on Pregnancy Outcomes

Pickett, K.E., Collins, J.W., Masi, C.M. and Wilkinson, R.G. (2005) The Effects of Racial Density and Income Incongruity on Pregnancy Outcomes. Social Science and Medicine, 60 (10). pp. 2229-2238. ISSN 0277-9536

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This study shows that living in a better area reduces the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes but, among African-American women, living in an area in which they are in a racial minority may increase the risk. Using the 1991 cohort of single infants born to African-American women in Chicago, we measured census tract socioeconomic status and defined women as having "positive income incongruity" if they lived in wealthier tracts than the average African-American woman of comparable education and marital status. We examined whether or not the effect of positive income incongruity differed according to whether or not African-American women lived in predominantly black, or mixed tracts. Among the women living in predominantly black census tracts, positive income incongruity was associated with a lower risk of low birth weight (odds ratio (OR) = 0.91) and preterm delivery (OR = 0.83). These effects were modest, but statistically significant for gestation (p-value = 0.01). In contrast, among the women living in mixed tracts positive income incongruity was not associated with low birth weight (OR = 1.04) or preterm delivery (OR = 1.11). In mixed areas the expected benefits of positive income incongruity are completely offset by the racial density effect, suggesting that the positive effects of a better socioeconomic context may be countered for minority women by the adverse effects of racism or racial stigma. (c) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Health Sciences (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2009 08:29
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2009 08:29
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.http://...
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam.
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2004.10.023
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7531

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