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Surprising findings on what influences unintended pregnancy from Wise, Geronimus and Smock

Recommendations on how to reduce discrimination resulting from ban-the-box policies cite Starr's work

Brian Jacob on NAEP scores: "Michigan is the only state in the country where proficiency rates have actually declined over time."

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Call for papers: Conference on computational social science, April 2017, U-M

Sioban Harlow honored with 2017 Sarah Goddard Power Award for commitment to women's health

Post-doc fellowship in computational social science for summer or fall 2017, U-Penn

ICPSR Summer Program scholarships to support training in statistics, quantitative methods, research design, and data analysis

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Mon, March 13, 2017, noon:
Rachel Best

Neighborhood Support and the Birth Weight of Urban Infants

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Buka, S.L., R.T. Brennan, J.W. Rich-Edwards, Stephen W. Raudenbush, and F. Earls. 2003. "Neighborhood Support and the Birth Weight of Urban Infants." American Journal of Epidemiology, 157(1): 1-8.

Differences in maternal characteristics only partially explain the lower birth weights of infants of African-American women. It is hypothesized that economic and social features of urban neighborhoods may further account for these differences. The authors conducted a household survey of 8,782 adults residing in 343 Chicago, Illinois, neighborhoods to assess mean levels of perceived social support and used US Census data to estimate neighborhood economic disadvantage. Data on birth weight and maternal risk factors were gathered from 95,711 birth certificates (1994-1996). Before statistical adjustment of the data, infants born to African-American mothers were found to be, on average, 297 g lighter than those born to White mothers. After adjustment for individual-level risk factors, this difference was reduced to 154 g. For African-American mothers only, mean birth weight decreased significantly as the neighborhood level of economic disadvantage increased. For White mothers only, a significant positive association was found between perceived levels of neighborhood social support and infant birth weight. Adding these neighborhood-level predictors to the model reduced the adjusted White versus African-American difference in birth weight to 124 g. Results support the hypothesis that neighborhood-level factors are significantly associated with infant birth weight.

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