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Factors which influence use of prenatal care in low-income racialethnic women in Los Angeles county

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There is very limited information on ethnic differences in use of prenatal care services. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of sociodemographic, health behaviors, medical risk, and psychosocial risk factors on the timing of prenatal care among Black-American, Mexican-American, and recent Mexican immigrant women in Los Angeles. A sample of 107 primiparous women were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Information obtained included socioeconomic indicators, relationship with baby's father, timing of prenatal care, psychosocial factors, and substance use before pregnancy. Ethnic patterns of timing of prenatal care revealed no significant differences. The relationship with the baby's father was associated with early timing of prenatal care and more prenatal care visits. Substance use before pregnancy was significantly related to total number of visits for this pregnancy.

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Ruth E. Zambrana is Associate Professor of Social Welfare; Christine Dunkel-Schetter is Associate Professor of Psychology; Susan Scrimshaw is Professor of Public Health and Anthropology; all at University of California, Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90024.

This study was supported by the following funding agencies: UCLA Center for the Study of Women, UCLA Biomedical Faculty Research Support Grant, UC Mexus Development (Grant DG87-123) and Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (formerly known as National Center for Health Services Research and Technology Assessment (HS/HD #05518-01A 1).

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Zambrana, R.E., Dunkel-Schetter, C. & Scrimshaw, S. Factors which influence use of prenatal care in low-income racialethnic women in Los Angeles county. J Community Health 16, 283–295 (1991).

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