Pregnancy and Substance Use by Women: A Multi-Ethnic Evaluation

Kalena E. Cortes, Princeton University
Krista Perreira, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among pregnant women is one of the leading preventable causes of birth defects in the U.S. This paper is the first nationwide multiethnic study on the etiology of prenatal alcohol and tobacco use. Previous studies evaluating risk profiles for substance abusing pregnant women: have been on small/population specific samples that are not generalizable to any national population; have not comprehensively modeled both risk and protective factors at the individual, family, and community levels; and have lacked sufficient data to compare the relative importance of various risk and protective factors across ethnic groups or by immigrant status. This study looks at the differences in the prevalence and etiology of alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy by mother's ethnicity and immigrant status and evaluates the relative importance of individual, family and community characteristics as risk and protective factors in alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy.

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Presented in Session 137: Health Behaviors