Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Erin Ruel

Second Advisor

James Ainsworth

Third Advisor

Deirdre Oakley


Despite substantial evidence linking improved pregnancy outcomes with receipt of prenatal care and recent improvements in prenatal care utilization, specific subpopulations continue to receive late prenatal care and experience adverse birth outcomes. This study will use the Health Belief Model and the Intersectionality Framework to examine the timing of prenatal care utilization, prenatal care compliance, and adverse birth outcomes within a group of low-income, black women in the South. Black women have worst rates of late prenatal care utilization and compliance than any other racial group. This late prenatal care utilization and compliance leads to adverse birth outcomes. A secondary data analysis was conducted using binary logistic regression and OLS regression to examine agency factors, structural factor, and risk health behavior in predicting timing of prenatal care utilization and compliance. In addition, this study also examines timing of prenatal care utilization and compliances and its effects on preterm birth and low birth weight. The results show that family size and knowledge/attitude significantly influences timing of prenatal care. Prenatal care compliance is influenced by church social support and low birth weight is influenced by private insurance. The results of this study show that although much is known in comparing different racial groups, more investigation is needed to explain why low income black women still experience less prenatal care use and compliance and worse adverse birth outcomes than any other racial group in the United States.


Included in

Sociology Commons