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Prenatal Care Utilization among Non-Hispanic Whites, African Americans, and Mexican Americans


Frisbie, W. Parker; Echevarria, Samuel; & Hummer, Robert A. (2001). Prenatal Care Utilization among Non-Hispanic Whites, African Americans, and Mexican Americans. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 5(1), 21-33.


OBJECTIVES: The general objective of this study is to explain differentials in prenatal care (PNC) utilization in a nationally representative sample of non-Hispanic White (Anglo), African American, and Mexican American women.
METHOD: The analysis is based on the National Maternal and Infant Health Survey. Multivariate, multinomial logistic regression models were employed to adjust for demographic, socioeconomic, medical risk, and program participation factors, as well as for perceived barriers. Both race/ethnic-specific models and models with race/ethnicity as a covariate were estimated.
RESULTS: Inadequate PNC use was much less common among Anglos (10.4%) as compared to African Americans and Mexican Americans (22.1% and 25.0%, respectively). In fully adjusted models, the odds ratio (OR) of African Americans receiving inadequate PNC was 1.46, while the risk for Mexican Americans was greater (OR = 1.93). Perception of obstacles to PNC access doubled the odds of receiving inadequate care, but this psychosocial variable had little impact on race/ethnic differentials. Race/ethnic-specific models uncovered potentially important racial/ethnic variations associated with perception of barriers, marital status, and program participation.
CONCLUSIONS: Although the same risk factors sometimes have different effects across race/ethnic groups, and while certain findings indicate a beneficial impact of health outreach efforts and program participation, our findings support the conclusion that PNC utilization continues to be stratified along race/ethnic lines.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Maternal and Child Health Journal


Frisbie, W. Parker
Echevarria, Samuel
Hummer, Robert A.