IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The relationship of neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics to birthweight among 5 ethnic groups in California


  • Pearl, M.
  • Braveman, P.
  • Abrams, B.


Objectives. This study sought to examine relationships between neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics and birthweight, accounting for individual socioeconomic characteristics, among 5 ethnic groups. Methods. Birth records were linked inked to census block-group data for 22304 women delivering infants at 18 California hospitals during 1994-1995. Information on income and additional factors was obtained from a surveyed subset of 8457 women. Neighborhood levels of poverty, unemployment, and education were examined. Results. After adjustment for mothers' individual socioeconomic characteristics and other risk factors, less-favorable neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics were associated with lower birthweight among Blacks and Asians. No consistent relationship between neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics and birthweight was found among Whites, US-born Latinas, or foreign-born Latinas overall, but birthweight increased with less-favorable neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics among foreign-born Latinas in high-poverty or high-unemployment neighborhoods. These findings were not explained by measured behavioral or cultural factors. Conclusions. In addition to individual socioeconomic characteristics, living in neighborhoods that are less socioeconomically advantaged may differentially influence birthweight, depending on women's ethnicity and nativity.

Suggested Citation

  • Pearl, M. & Braveman, P. & Abrams, B., 2001. "The relationship of neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics to birthweight among 5 ethnic groups in California," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 91(11), pages 1808-1814.
  • Handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:11:1808-1814_4

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Osypuk, Theresa L. & Bates, Lisa M. & Acevedo-Garcia, Dolores, 2010. "Another Mexican birthweight paradox? The role of residential enclaves and neighborhood poverty in the birthweight of Mexican-origin infants," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 550-560, February.
    2. Narayan Sastry & Jon Hussey, 2003. "An investigation of racial and ethnic disparities in birth weight in Chicago neighborhoods," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(4), pages 701-725, November.
    3. Irma T. Elo & Laryssa Mykyta & Rachel Margolis & Jennifer F. Culhane, 2009. "Perceptions of Neighborhood Disorder: The Role of Individual and Neighborhood Characteristics," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1298-1320, December.
    4. Emily Moiduddin & Douglas S. Massey, 2006. "Segregation, the Concentration of Poverty, and Birth Weight," Working Papers 917, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    5. Judith Wright & Nazeem Muhajarine, 2008. "Respiratory illness in Saskatoon infants: The impact of housing and neighbourhood characteristics," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 85(1), pages 81-95, January.
    6. Reagan, Patricia B. & Salsberry, Pamela J., 2005. "Race and ethnic differences in determinants of preterm birth in the USA: broadening the social context," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(10), pages 2217-2228, May.
    7. Kane, Robert J., 2011. "The ecology of unhealthy places: Violence, birthweight, and the importance of territoriality in structurally disadvantaged communities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(11), pages 1585-1592.
    8. Narayan Sastry & Jon M. Hussey, 2001. "Explaining Race and Ethnic Disparities in Birthweight in Chicago Neighborhoods," Working Papers DRU-2933, RAND Corporation.
    9. Voigt, Manfred & Heineck, Guido & Hesse, Volker, 2004. "The relationship between maternal characteristics, birth weight and pre-term delivery: evidence from Germany at the end of the 20th century," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 265-280, June.
    10. repec:pri:crcwel:wp06-31-ff is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Gage, Anastasia J., 2005. "Women's experience of intimate partner violence in Haiti," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 343-364, July.
    12. Clayborne, Zahra M. & Giesbrecht, Gerald F. & Bell, Rhonda C. & Tomfohr-Madsen, Lianne M., 2017. "Relations between neighbourhood socioeconomic status and birth outcomes are mediated by maternal weight," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 143-151.
    13. Narayan Sastry & Jon M. Hussey, 2002. "Explaining Race and Ethnic Disparities in Birthweight in Chicago Neighborhoods," Working Papers 02-14, RAND Corporation.
    14. Bell, Janice F. & Zimmerman, Frederick J. & Almgren, Gunnar R. & Mayer, Jonathan D. & Huebner, Colleen E., 2006. "Birth outcomes among urban African-American women: A multilevel analysis of the role of racial residential segregation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(12), pages 3030-3045, December.
    15. Auger, Nathalie & Park, Alison L. & Gamache, Philippe & Pampalon, Robert & Daniel, Mark, 2012. "Weighing the contributions of material and social area deprivation to preterm birth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(6), pages 1032-1037.
    16. Rachana Patel & Laishram Ladusingh, 2015. "Do Physical Proximity and Availability of Adequate Infrastructure at Public Health Facility Increase Institutional Delivery? A Three Level Hierarchical Model Approach," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(12), pages 1-20, December.
    17. Pickett, Kate E. & Collins, James Jr & Masi, Christopher M. & Wilkinson, Richard G., 2005. "The effects of racial density and income incongruity on pregnancy outcomes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(10), pages 2229-2238, May.
    18. Kritsotakis, George & Vassilaki, Maria & Chatzi, Leda & Georgiou, Vaggelis & Philalithis, Anastassios E. & Kogevinas, Manolis & Koutis, Antonis, 2011. "Maternal social capital and birth outcomes in the mother–child cohort in Crete, Greece (Rhea study)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(11), pages 1653-1660.
    19. Schempf, Ashley & Strobino, Donna & O'Campo, Patricia, 2009. "Neighborhood effects on birthweight: An exploration of psychosocial and behavioral pathways in Baltimore, 1995-1996," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 100-110, January.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:11:1808-1814_4. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.