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Maternal mortality is an important issue that has persisted around the world; specifically in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization (2012), about 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth related complications around the world every day with 99 percent of maternal deaths occurring in developing countries. Previous research has linked a number of other social factors to increased rates of maternal mortality including education, socioeconomic status, access to health care, autonomy, and cultural beliefs. This secondary qualitative research study looks further into rates of maternal mortality in a selection of thirty different countries and what other factors may be related to current maternal mortality rates. Data for this research was taken from the World Bank. Maternal mortality was measured as the dependent variable while indicators for education, socioeconomic status, and health care use and access were the independent variables. Results show that indicators of health, especially fertility rates, are associated with rates of maternal mortality. Educations as well as urban and rural populations were also found to be associated with rates of maternal mortality. While rates of maternal mortality have decreased in some countries over the past ten years, rates in many countries still remain high and unchanged. Maternal mortality needs to be looked at as a global problem rather than the problem of individual countries in order to effectively lower the levels.



Thesis Comittee

Walter Carroll (Thesis Director)

Kim MacInnis

Norma Anderson

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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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