Marital status and infant health outcomes
AbstractOut-of-wedlock status has long been recognized as a demographic risk factor associated with infant mortality and low birthweight. However, the relationship between marital status and birth outcomes varies by maternal race and age. The negative impact of unmarried status is greatest for white women aged 20 and over. High infant mortality rates for married teen mothers challenge the assumption that marriage necessarily provides a protective environment for childbearing. Maternal and child health research and policy have been hindered by a deviance model of out-of-wedlock fertility, which is both biased and outdated. Inconsistencies in the effect of marital status indicate variations in both economic and social resources. Purely behavioral explanations for escalated risks to unmarried mothers are not justified by research findings. Alternative interpretations suggest the need for greater societal involvement in maternal health care created in part by changes in family structure.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.
Volume (Year): 35 (1992)
Issue (Month): 9 (November)
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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description
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- Kasey Buckles & Joseph Price, 2013.
"Selection and the Marriage Premium for Infant Health,"
Springer, vol. 50(4), pages 1315-1339, August.
- Kasey S. Buckles, 2012. "Selection and the Marriage Premium for Infant Health," Working Papers 003, University of Notre Dame, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2012.
- Teresa Castro Martin, 2010. "Single motherhood and low birthweight in Spain," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(27), pages 863-890, May.
- Wanchuan Lin, 2009. "Why has the health inequality among infants in the US declined? Accounting for the shrinking gap," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(7), pages 823-841.
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