Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Stern, Novak, Harlow, and colleagues say compensation due Californians forcibly sterilized under eugenics laws

Burgard and Seelye find job insecurity linked to psychological distress among workers in later years

Former PSC trainee Jay Borchert parlays past incarceration and doctoral degree into pursuing better treatment of inmates

More News

Highlights

Savolainen wins Outstanding Contribution Award for study of how employment affects recidivism among past criminal offenders

Giving Blueday at ISR focuses on investing in the next generation of social scientists

Pfeffer and Schoeni cover the economic and social dimensions of wealth inequality in this special issue

PRB Policy Communication Training Program for PhD students in demography, reproductive health, population health

More Highlights

Next Brown Bag

Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at noon:
H. Luke Shaefer

Arline T. Geronimus photo

Black/White Differences in the Relationship of Maternal Age to Birthweight: A Population-Based Test of the Weathering Hypothesis

Publication Abstract

Geronimus, Arline T. 1996. "Black/White Differences in the Relationship of Maternal Age to Birthweight: A Population-Based Test of the Weathering Hypothesis." Social Science and Medicine, 42(4): 589-97.

This study seeks to explore whether early health deterioration ('weathering') among young adult African American women contributes to observed increases with maternal age of the black/white disparity in birth outcome. Theoretically, 'weathering' is constructed as being a physical consequence of social inequality. Thus, the author examines whether African American mothers vary in their age trajectories of poor birth outcome with respect to social class. Black or white singleton first births to Michigan residents aged 15-34 in 1989 (N=54,888 births) are analyzed, using data drawn from linked birth and infant death certificates augmented with census-based economic information. The study finds that among blacks, but not whites, advancing maternal age above 15 years is associated with increased odds of LBW and VLBW. Among blacks in low-income areas, the odds of LBW increase three-fold, and of VLBW four-fold, between maternal ages 15 and 34. The findings suggest that African American women, on average, and those residing in low-income areas, in particular, experience worsening health profiles between their teens and young adulthood, contributing to their increasing risk of LBW or VLBW with advancing maternal age and to the black-white gap in this risk. The findings suggest the importance of comprehensive prevention strategies to improve the health of socioeconomically disadvantaged African American women prior to pregnancy and the reduction of social inequalities that impact health.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next