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Preconception Stress, Birth Weight, and Birth Weight Disparities among US Women


Strutz, Kelly L.; Hogan, Vijaya K.; Siega-Riz, Anna Maria; Suchindran, Chirayath M.; Halpern, Carolyn Tucker; & Hussey, Jon M. (2014). Preconception Stress, Birth Weight, and Birth Weight Disparities among US Women. American Journal of Public Health, 104(8), e125-32. PMCID: PMC4103215


Objectives: We examined the impact of preconception acute and chronic stressors on offspring birth weight and racial/ethnic birth weight disparities.
Methods: We included birth weights for singleton live first (n = 3512) and second (n = 1901) births to White, Mexican-origin Latina, other-origin Latina, and Black women reported at wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (2007-2008; ages 24-32 years). We generated factor scores for preconception acute and chronic stressors from wave I (1994-1995; ages 11-19 years) or wave III (2001-2002; ages 18-26 years) for the same cohort of women.
Results: Linear regression models indicated that chronic stressors, but not acute stressors, were inversely associated with birth weight for both first and second births (b = -192; 95% confidence interval = -270, -113; and b = -180; 95% confidence interval = -315, -45, respectively), and partially explained the disparities in birth weight between the minority racial/ethnic groups and Whites.
Conclusions: Preconception chronic stressors contribute to restricted birth weight and to racial/ethnic birth weight disparities.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Public Health


Strutz, Kelly L.
Hogan, Vijaya K.
Siega-Riz, Anna Maria
Suchindran, Chirayath M.
Halpern, Carolyn Tucker
Hussey, Jon M.