Thesis Defense Announcement

College of Arts and Sciences announces the Final Thesis Defense of

Anna Church

for the Degree of Master of Arts

March 27, 2019 at 10:00 AM in Clement Hall, Room 203

Advisor: Wesley L. James

Racial Differences in the Social Determinants of Infant Mortality: A County-Level Analysis

ABSTRACT: Infant mortality rates (IMRs) are considered to be one of the most important indicators of a healthy society and a key marker of maternal and child health. In the United States, progress has been made in reducing the overall infant mortality rate, but this reduced aggregated rate masks significant racial disparities. The objective of this study is to systematically examine racial differences in a number of social determinants of infant mortality at the county-level, specifically differences between non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White populations. Multivariate OLS regression modeling is used to analyze the association between the demographic, economic, and health predictor variables and IMRs. The results show that while there are marked differences in the predictors of black and white IMRs, there are also remarkable similarities. Median household incomes and numbers of practicing midwives are found to be two of the most significant factors in reducing infant mortality rates for both groups.