Date of Conferral





Public Health


Joseph F. Robare


Abstract This quantitative retrospective study with a correlational design examined the impact of race and socioeconomic factors on the high infant mortality (IM) among non-Hispanic Black women compared to non-Hispanic White women in one midwestern US state county. Though the IM in the U.S. has consistently decreased, a disparity exists between non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White women. Non-Hispanic Black women are twice as likely to experience infant deaths as non-Hispanic White women. This study utilized secondary data derived from vital records maintained by the county public health department. The research was grounded in the ecological model. Logistic regression was used to test the association between the risk factors and IM. Findings showed that mother’s race/ethnicity, educational level, and marital status were significant predictors of IM among non-Hispanic Black women, while the mother’s residential zip codes and age during pregnancy were not. Infant birth weight, and gestational age had significant moderating effects on the association between the mother’s race/ethnicity and IM. In contrast, the mother’s prenatal care in the first trimester did not moderate the relationship. Low socioeconomic status was the overall determinant of high IM among non-Hispanic Black women compared to non-Hispanic White women. A social change intervention involving all stakeholders would target the above IM risk factors to reduce the disparity gap between non-Hispanic Black women and non-Hispanic White women in the community.