Graduation Date


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Primary Major


Primary Minor


Program Director

Andrea Boyle, PhD, FNAP

Thesis Advisor

Patricia Harris, PhD


The literature shows that Black women face many disparities in terms of health care access and the quality of care. These obstacles could negatively affect the health of the mother and their child. This paper includes a literature review and proposed research study. The objective of this research study is to identify the outcomes of Black women compared to White women and other women of color in terms of maternal health. A literature review is provided in order to identify how race affects the following factors: obstacles that limit access to healthcare, rates of obtaining prenatal care, postpartum outcomes and infant mortality. The literature review showed that Black women face poorer access and outcomes in almost all aspects of maternal health such as prenatal care utilization, maternal morbidity and mortality (Howell et al, 2016) and higher infant mortality rates (Cox et al, 2011). There are many factors such as socioeconomic status, region, access to healthcare and education that add to their poor health outcomes; however, it has been found that race is a factor that negatively impacts outcomes independently of these extraneous factors. The research question proposed asks how the quality and quantity of prenatal care differ by race and if this impacts neonatal outcomes. A correlational study will be used to determine if there is a correlation between factors that will be identified and how they affect the outcomes of these neonates. The method of research will utilize multiple surveys that identify race, age, yearly income, the amount of time spent at prenatal care (PNC) appointments and a Likert scale to identify the perceived quality of their PNC appointments. Neonatal outcomes such as birth weight, APGAR score, prematurity in months, morbidity and mortality will be identified. This quantitative data collected will be analyzed using a multiple regression analysis to obtain multiple measurements of correlation between the many variables identified in the surveys.