Document Detail

Explaining disproportionately high rates of adverse birth outcomes among African Americans: the impact of stress, racism, and related factors in pregnancy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16187853     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Compared with European Americans, African American infants experience disproportionately high rates of low birth weight and preterm delivery and are more than twice as likely to die during their 1st year of life. The authors examine 5 explanations for these differences in rates of adverse birth outcomes: (a) ethnic differences in health behaviors and socioeconomic status; (b) higher levels of stress in African American women; (c) greater susceptibility to stress in African Americans; (d) the impact of racism acting either as a contributor to stress or as a factor that exacerbates stress effects; and (e) ethnic differences in stress-related neuroendocrine, vascular, and immunological processes. The review of literature indicates that each explanation has some merit, although none is sufficient to explain ethnic disparities in adverse birth outcomes. There is a lack of studies examining the impact of such factors jointly and interactively. Recommendations and cautions for future research are offered.
Cheryl L Giscombé; Marci Lobel
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychological bulletin     Volume:  131     ISSN:  0033-2909     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychol Bull     Publication Date:  2005 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-09-28     Completed Date:  2005-12-13     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376473     Medline TA:  Psychol Bull     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  662-83     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2500, USA.
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MeSH Terms
African Americans / statistics & numerical data*
Obstetric Labor Complications / epidemiology,  ethnology*
Pregnancy Complications
Stress, Psychological / epidemiology*
Grant Support

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