Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Diana Naser


Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is a public health issue recognized by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the sudden and unexpected death of a baby less than 1 year old, often during sleep, with no obvious cause. Despite known SUID risk factors for infants and mothers, there is limited research on combinations of infant birth characteristics and mother demographics that could be indicative of a higher risk of infant death. The purpose of this cross-sectional quantitative study was to examine the extent to which infant birth characteristics, delivery characteristics, month prenatal care began, and maternal demographics predicted the occurrence of SUID. This study was grounded in social cognitive theory. The population was 14,153 full-term infants in the United States who died within 364 days of birth. Data were collected from the CDC Wonder database for the years 2013-2016 and were analyzed using logistic regression. Results showed a significant relationship between infant gestational age (p = <.001), birth weight (p = <.001), birth order (p = <.001), maternal age (p = <.001), marital status (p = <.001), educational status (p = <.001), month prenatal care began (p = <.001), infant birthplace (p = <.001), medical birth attendant (p = <.001), delivery method (p = <.001) and occurrence of SUID. Implication for positive social change could be the reduction and elimination of SUID. This research specifically could potentially benefit every parent and infant for infant survival beyond the first year of life. This research may also benefit clinicians that care for infants, providing confidence in risk factors to guard against SUID, thereby saving lives.