Health disparities are a persistent reality for minority groups in the United States with serious, and sometimes lethal, consequences. The disparate rates of preterm births and infant mortality between African-American and Caucasian women is a well-documented but largely unaddressed occurrence falling into this category. The complex systems that contribute to the perpetuation of this health disparity are explored with particular attention to the intersection of race, culture and socioeconomic status. The influence of personal health beliefs and often-over-emphasized role of behavior are also investigated in an effort to examine why there has been an inadequate response to this problem in the research, medical and social work disciplines. Several avenues showing promise to address the structural and institutional racism at the root of this health disparity are outlined, and the ethical responsibility of social workers to confront this heath disparity is a final point of discussion.
Articles published in The Graduate Review are the property of the individual contributors and may not be reprinted, reformatted, repurposed or duplicated, without the contributor’s consent.
Cooper, Catherine E.
Preterm Birth and Infant Mortality among African American and Caucasian Women: A Critique of the Systematic Devaluing of African American Women and Infants.
The Graduate Review, 3, 39-47.
Available at: http://vc.bridgew.edu/grad_rev/vol3/iss1/10