Date of Conferral





Public Health


Raymond Panas


There is a well-established disparity between infant mortality rates among women residing in rural areas in Puerto Rico in comparison with woman residing in urban areas of Puerto Rico. There is a significant amount of research that connects infant mortality to low birth weight, congenital malformations, and premature births. The purpose of this study was to determine infant mortality and its relationship with the geographical location of Puerto Rican mothers. The study also examined whether there is a relationship between infant mortality and the area of residence (rural/urban) of the mother, marital status, race, and education level of the mother. A quantitative cross-sectional design was used. Cases were sampled from the Linked Birth/Infant Death data file available for the year 2015 from the National Center of Health Statistics. Roy’s adaptation model framework was employed. Analyses included logistic regression and multinomial logistic regression models using the indirect variables (age, race, marital status, prenatal care, and place of birth of Puerto Rican women residing in rural areas of Puerto Rico). The research suggested a relationship between the socioeconomic level and mother’s residence with a high rate of infant mortality in Puerto Rico. In Puerto Rico, low birth weight (OR .386) was the main predictor of infant mortality. Between the zone residences, there were significance differences (p< 0.05) in the OR related to before preterm birth. The implications for positive social change include the possible use of results by Public Health professionals to promote awareness of the risk factors and prevention of infant mortality.