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Numerous studies on acculturation and acculturative stress exist; however, findings are inconsistent and overlook an exploration of differences between Hispanic and Black/African American (B/AA) adolescents’ acculturation, stress, and birth outcomes. Despite societal and cultural challenges for both minorities, Hispanic women typically have positive birth outcomes comparable to White women, but B/AA women show an increased risk for negative birth outcomes. Further, minority and adolescent childbearing women frequently receive fewer prenatal care (PNC) visits than recommended which may impact birth outcomes. Therefore, my study sought to compare Hispanic and B/AA women’s birth outcomes assessing acculturation and stress and examine the relationship of PNC regularity to birth outcome. Using secondary analysis of a large dataset of adolescents, existing independent and dependent variable data resulted in a sample cohort of 65 Hispanic adolescents and 75 B/AA adolescents for a total sample size of 140. Acculturation and stress were measured via the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans-II (ARSMAII) and the Impact Event Scale (IES) respectively. Infant outcomes were measured via gestational age (GA), birth weight (BW), and reported infant complications. Findings showed that acculturation category was not significantly associated with infant outcome: GA, p=.937, infant BW, p=.458, or report of infant complications, p=.180. Higher GA was, however, found to be positively associated with PNC. Race-ethnic differences were significant only for infant BW and stress level. Stress levels were found to be significantly higher for the B/AA adolescents, and higher stress levels associated with a lower GA. While PNC visits were not significantly different between groups, only 50% of traditional Hispanic teens and 63% of B/AA adolescents received the recommended number of visits. PNC is beneficial in its effect upon GA and offers an opportunity to assess stress levels which can be particularly important to the B/AA adolescent. However, as many adolescents frequently delay PNC, healthcare providers are encouraged to emphasize the regularity of PNC for all adolescents for basic information on pregnancy, high risk factors for adverse infant outcomes, and ways to reduce stress.


Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Women's Health

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Faculty Mentor of Honors Project

Cheryl Anderson


Thank you to my mentor, Dr. Anderson, for being patient and encouraging me throughout this process. I would also like to thank the Honors College for their support in helping me excel academically during my time here at UTA.


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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