Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Ethnic Studies

First Advisor

Joanne Belknap

Second Advisor

Bianca Williams

Third Advisor

Kristine Lopez

Fourth Advisor

Clyde Wright


This study is a racial/ethnic comparison of the over 4 million women who gave birth to live babies in 2006, and the health of the mothers and of these newborns. Using the recently released 2006 Natality Detail File data, I conducted a racial/ethnic analysis of these women’s and newborns’ demographic, pregnancy, and medical care and experiences. Other than the governmental statisticians who reported on the basics of these 2006 data, I am one of the first, if not the first, to analyze these data. Overwhelmingly, research on mothers’ pregnancies and birth outcomes that have included race/ethnicity, has been limited to a binary of Black and white woman and babies, largely excluding Latinas, as well as Native American/Alaskan Native (NA/AN) and Asian American/Pacific Islander (AA/PI) mothers and their newborns. To my knowledge, my thesis is the first study to conduct racial/ethnic comparisons of mothers and their babies using five race/ethnicity categories: Latina, Black, NA/AN, AA/PI, and white. The findings stress the importance of such expanded race/ethnicity categories for researching pregnant women and their newborns, and provide some support for the Latina Paradox in terms of mothers and newborns.

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