Skin Tone Discrimination and Birth Outcomes for African American Women

Awarded Scholars:
Jaime C. Slaughter-Acey, University of Minnesota
Project Date:
Apr 2018
Award Amount:

Black women continue to face higher risks of poor pregnancy outcomes compared with whites, even after controlling for socioeconomic status (SES) and other traditional risk factors. Though some researchers consider racism the fundamental determinant of this disparity, most studies neglect the multidimensional nature of race and color. Studies show that skin tone matters—for example, darker-complexioned black men face more severe treatment in the criminal justice system and worse labor market outcomes than their lighter-complexioned counterparts. Maternal and child health epidemiologist Jaime Slaughter-Acey, in consultation with sociologist Verna Keith (Texas A&M University), will examine the extent to which the relationship between skin tone and birth outcomes among black women is mediated and/or moderated by socioeconomic status. She will also investigate the extent to which perceived discrimination (based on race, skin tone, or other factors) explains the association between skin tone and birth outcomes. 


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