Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Maternal experiences of racial discrimination and child weight status in the first 3 years of life

  • B. Dixon (a1), S. L. Rifas-Shiman (a1), T. James-Todd (a2), K. Ertel (a3), N. Krieger (a3), K. P. Kleinman (a1), J. W. Rich-Edwards (a2), M. W. Gillman (a1) (a4) and E. M. Taveras (a1) (a5)...

Abstract

Among US racial/ethnic minority women, we examined associations between maternal experiences of racial discrimination and child growth in the first 3 years of life. We analyzed data from Project Viva, a pre-birth cohort study. We restricted analyses to 539 mother–infant pairs; 294 were Black, 127 Hispanic, 110 Asian and 8 from additional racial/ethnic groups. During pregnancy, mothers completed the Experiences of Discrimination survey that measured lifetime experiences of racial discrimination in diverse domains. We categorized responses as 0, 1–2 or ⩾3 domains. Main outcomes were birth weight for gestational age z-score; weight for age (WFA) z-score at 6 months of age; and at 3 years of age, body mass index (BMI) z-score. In multivariable analyses, we adjusted for maternal race/ethnicity, nativity, education, age, pre-pregnancy BMI, household income and child sex and age. Among this cohort of mostly (58.2%) US-born and economically non-impoverished mothers, 33% reported 0 domains of discrimination, 33% reported discrimination in 1–2 domains and 35% reported discrimination in ⩾3 domains. Compared with children whose mothers reported no discrimination, those whose mothers reported ⩾3 domains had lower birth weight for gestational age z-score (β −0.25; 95% CI: −0.45, −0.04), lower 6 month WFA z-score (β −0.34; 95% CI: −0.65, −0.03) and lower 3-year BMI z-score (β −0.33; 95% CI: −0.66, 0.00). In conclusion, we found that among this cohort of US racial/ethnic minority women, mothers’ report of experiencing lifetime discrimination in ⩾ 3 domains was associated with lower fetal growth, weight at 6 months and 3-year BMI among their offspring.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Maternal experiences of racial discrimination and child weight status in the first 3 years of life
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Maternal experiences of racial discrimination and child weight status in the first 3 years of life
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Maternal experiences of racial discrimination and child weight status in the first 3 years of life
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Dr E. M. Taveras, Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, 133 Brookline Avenue, 6th floor, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Email elsie_taveras@harvardpilgrim.org

References

Hide All
1.Skinner, AC, Steiner, MJ, Henderson, FW, Perrin, EM. Multiple markers of inflammation and weight status: cross-sectional analyses throughout childhood. Pediatrics. 2010; 125, e801e809.
2.Kurian, AK, Cardarelli, KM. Racial and ethnic differences in cardiovascular disease risk factors: a systematic review. Ethn Dis. 2007; 17, 143152.
3.Gillman, MW, Rifas-Shiman, SL, Kleinman, K, et al. Developmental origins of childhood overweight: potential public health impact. Obesity. 2008; 16, 16511656.
4.Kuh, D, Ben-Shlomo, Y. A Life Course Approach to Chronic Disease Epidemiology: Tracing the Origins of Ill-health From Early to Adult life, 2nd edn, 2004. Oxford University Press: London.
5.Oken, E, Levitan, EB, Gillman, MW. Maternal smoking during pregnancy and child overweight: systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008; 32, 201210.
6.Oken, E, Taveras, EM, Kleinman, KP, Rich-Edwards, JW, Gillman, MW. Gestational weight gain and child adiposity at age 3 years. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007; 196, 322, e321–e328.
7.Wright, CS, Rifas-Shiman, SL, Rich-Edwards, JW, et al. Intrauterine exposure to gestational diabetes, child adiposity, and blood pressure. Am J Hypertens. 2009; 22, 215220.
8.Taveras, EM, Gillman, MW, Kleinman, K, Rich-Edwards, JW, Rifas-Shiman, SL. Racial/ethnic differences in early-life risk factors for childhood obesity. Pediatrics. 2010; 125, 686695.
9.Gravlee, CC. How race becomes biology: embodiment of social inequality. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2009; 139, 4757.
10.Dallman, MF, Akana, SF, Pecoraro, NC, et al. Glucocorticoids, the etiology of obesity and the metabolic syndrome. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2007; 4, 199204.
11.Dallman, MF, Pecoraro, NC, La Fleur, SE, et al. Glucocorticoids, chronic stress, and obesity. Prog Brain Res. 2006; 153, 75105.
12.la Fleur, SE, Akana, SF, Manalo, SL, Dallman, MF. Interaction between corticosterone and insulin in obesity: regulation of lard intake and fat stores. Endocrinology. 2004; 145, 21742185.
13.Tataranni, PA, Larson, DE, Snitker, S, et al. Effects of glucocorticoids on energy metabolism and food intake in humans. Am J Physiol. 1996; 271, E317E325.
14.Kramer, MR, Hogue, CR. What causes racial disparities in very preterm birth? A biosocial perspective. Epidemiol Rev. 2009; 31, 8498.
15.Warne, JP. Shaping the stress response: interplay of palatable food choices, glucocorticoids, insulin and abdominal obesity. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2009; 300, 137146.
16.Anderson, SE, Whitaker, RC. Attachment security and obesity in US preschool-aged children. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011; 165, 235242.
17.Collins, JW Jr, David, RJ, Symons, R, et al. Low-income African-American mothers’ perception of exposure to racial discrimination and infant birth weight. Epidemiology. 2000; 11, 337339.
18.Mustillo, S, Krieger, N, Gunderson, EP, et al. Self-reported experiences of racial discrimination and Black-White differences in preterm and low-birthweight deliveries: the CARDIA Study. Am J Public Health. 2004; 94, 21252131.
19.Rosenberg, L, Palmer, JR, Wise, LA, Horton, NJ, Corwin, MJ. Perceptions of racial discrimination and the risk of preterm birth. Epidemiology. 2002; 13, 646652.
20.Murrell, NL. Stress, self-esteem, and racism: relationships with low birth weight and preterm delivery in African American women. J Natl Black Nurses Assoc. 1996; 8, 4553.
21.Brondolo, E, Rieppi, R, Kelly, KP, Gerin, W. Perceived racism and blood pressure: a review of the literature and conceptual and methodological critique. Ann Behav Med. 2003; 25, 5565.
22.Dominguez, TP, Dunkel-Schetter, C, Glynn, LM, Hobel, C, Sandman, CA. Racial differences in birth outcomes: the role of general, pregnancy, and racism stress. Health Psychol. 2008; 27, 194203.
23.Dominguez, TP, Strong, EF, Krieger, N, Gillman, MW, Rich-Edwards, JW. Differences in the self-reported racism experiences of US-born and foreign-born Black pregnant women. Soc Sci Med. 2009; 69, 258265.
24.Gillman, MW, Rich-Edwards, JW, Rifas-Shiman, SL, et al. Maternal age and other predictors of newborn blood pressure. J Pediatr. 2004; 144, 240245.
25.Krieger, N. Racial and gender discrimination: risk factors for high blood pressure? Soc Sci Med. 1990; 30, 12731281.
26.Krieger, N, Smith, K, Naishadham, D, Hartman, C, Barbeau, EM. Experiences of discrimination: validity and reliability of a self-report measure for population health research on racism and health. Soc Sci Med. 2005; 61, 15761596.
27.Oken, E, Kleinman, KP, Rich-Edwards, JW, Gillman, MW. A nearly continuous measure of birth weight for gestational age using a United States national reference. BMC Pediatr. 2003; 3, 6.
28.National Center for Health Statistics. CDC Growth Charts, United States, 2000. Retrieved 6 January 2012 from http://www.cdc.gov/growthcharts/
29.Shorr, IJ. How to Weigh and Measure Children, 1986. U.N.: New York.
30.U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. Racial and Ethnic Classifications Used in Census 2000 and Beyond, 2000. Retrieved February 8, 2011, from http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/race/racefactcb.html
31.Committee to Reexamine IOM Pregnancy Weight Guidelines. Weight Gain During Pregnancy: Reexamining the Guidelines, 2009. Institute of Medicine, National Research Council, The National Academies Press: Washington, DC.
32.Cox, JL, Holden, JM, Sagovsky, R. Detection of postnatal depression. Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Br J Psychiatr. 1987; 150, 782786.
33.Raghunathan, TE, Solenberger, PW, Van Hoewyk, J. IVEware: Imputation and Variance Estimation Software User Guide, 2002. Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, Ann Arbor, Michigan; ftp://ftp.isr.umich.edu/pub/src/smp/ive/ive_user.pdf
34.Horton, NJ, Kleinman, KP. Much ado about nothing: a comparison of missing data methods and software to fit incomplete data regression models. Am Stat. 2007; 61, 7990.
35.Boynton-Jarrett, R, Fargnoli, J, Suglia, SF, Zuckerman, B, Wright, RJ. Association between maternal intimate partner violence and incident obesity in preschool-aged children: results from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010; 164, 540546.
36.Ertel, KA, Koenen, KC, Rich-Edwards, JW, Gillman, MW. Antenatal and postpartum depressive symptoms are differentially associated with early childhood weight and adiposity. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2010; 24, 179189.
37.Kramer, MR, Hogue, CJ, Dunlop, AL, Menon, R. Preconceptional stress and racial disparities in preterm birth: an overview. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2011; 90, 13071316.
38.Ertel, KA, Koenen, KC, Rich-Edwards, JW, Gillman, MW. Maternal depressive symptoms not associated with reduced height in young children in a US prospective cohort study. PLoS One. 2010; 5, e13656.
39.Farrow, C, Blissett, J. Maternal cognitions, psychopathologic symptoms, and infant temperament as predictors of early infant feeding problems: a longitudinal study. Int J Eat Disord. 2006; 39, 128134.
40.Farrow, CV, Blissett, JM. Is maternal psychopathology related to obesigenic feeding practices at 1 year? Obes Res. 2005; 13, 19992005.
41.Wright, CM, Parkinson, KN, Drewett, RF. The influence of maternal socioeconomic and emotional factors on infant weight gain and weight faltering (failure to thrive): data from a prospective birth cohort. Arch Dis Child. 2006; 91, 312317.
42.Ong, AD, Fuller-Rowell, T, Burrow, AL. Racial discrimination and the stress process. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2009; 96, 12591271.
43.Barker, DJP, Winter, PD, Osmond, C, Margetts, B, Simmonds, SJ. Weight in infancy and death from ischaemic heart disease. Lancet. 1989; 2, 577580.
44.Eriksson, J, Forsen, T, Tuomilehto, J, Osmond, C, Barker, D. Fetal and childhood growth and hypertension in adult life. Hypertension. 2000; 36, 790794.
45.Osmond, C, Barker, DJP, Winter, PD, Fall, CHD, Simmonds, SJ. Early growth and death from cardiovascular disease in women. BMJ. 1993; 307, 15191524.
46.Frankel, S, Elwood, P, Sweetnam, P, Yarnell, J, Davey Smith, G. Birthweight, body-mass index in middle age, and incident coronary heart disease. Lancet. 1996; 348, 14781480.
47.Rich-Edwards, JW, Stampfer, MJ, Manson, JE, et al. Birthweight and the risk of cardiovascular disease in adult women. BMJ. 1997; 315, 396400.
48.Baird, J, Fisher, D, Lucas, P, et al. Being big or growing fast: systematic review of size and growth in infancy and later obesity. BMJ. 2005; 331, 929.
49.Monteiro, PO, Victora, CG. Rapid growth in infancy and childhood and obesity in later life – a systematic review. Obes Rev. 2005; 6, 143154.
50.Emond, AM, Blair, PS, Emmett, PM, Drewett, RF. Weight faltering in infancy and IQ levels at 8 years in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Pediatrics. 2007; 120, e1051e1058.

Keywords

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Maternal experiences of racial discrimination and child weight status in the first 3 years of life

  • B. Dixon (a1), S. L. Rifas-Shiman (a1), T. James-Todd (a2), K. Ertel (a3), N. Krieger (a3), K. P. Kleinman (a1), J. W. Rich-Edwards (a2), M. W. Gillman (a1) (a4) and E. M. Taveras (a1) (a5)...

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.