Maternal experiences of ethnic discrimination and subsequent birth outcomes in Aotearoa New Zealand

Thayer, Zaneta, Becares, Laia and Carr, Polly Atatoa (2019) Maternal experiences of ethnic discrimination and subsequent birth outcomes in Aotearoa New Zealand. BMC Public Health, 19 (1). a1271. ISSN 1471-2458

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Abstract

Background
Interpersonal discrimination experience has been associated with adverse birth outcomes. Limited research has evaluated this relationship within multicultural contexts outside the United States where the nature and salience of discrimination experiences may differ. Such research is important in order to help identify protective and risk factors that may mediate the relationship between discrimination experience and adverse birth outcomes.
Methods
Evaluated the relationship between perceived discrimination, as measured in pregnancy, with birth weight and gestation length among Māori, Pacific, and Asian women from Aotearoa New Zealand (N = 1653).
Results
Thirty percent of the sample reported some type of unfair treatment that they attributed to their ethnicity. For Māori women specifically, unfair treatment at work (β = − 243 g) and in acquiring housing (β = − 146 g) were associated with lower birth weight when compared to Māori women not experiencing these types of discrimination, while an ethnically motivated physical attack (β = − 1.06 week), and unfair treatment in the workplace (β = − 0.95 week), in the criminal justice system (β = − 0.55 week), or in banking (β = − 0.73 week) were associated with significantly shorter gestation.
Conclusions
Despite a high prevalence of discrimination experience among women from all ethnic groups, discrimination experience was a strong predictor of lower birth weight and shorter gestation length among indigenous Māori women only. Additional research is needed to better understand the risk and protective factors that may moderate the relationship between discrimination experience and adverse birth outcomes among women from different ethnic groups.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Subjects: L Education
Depositing User: Deeptima Massey
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2019 11:48
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2019 12:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/86654

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