Author ORCID Identifier

Robert L. Fischer

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Objectives: In Ohio, African American babies die at 2.5–3 times the rate of White babies. Preterm birth and low birth weight are the leading causes of infant mortality. Home visiting is an evidence-based strategy for serving low-income pregnant women; however, there are relatively few rigorous studies examining its effect on birth outcomes. Methods: This study uses a propensity score technique to estimate the causal effect of participation in home visiting on prematurity and low birth weight among a low-income, predominantly African American sample (N = 26,814). Results: We found that participation in home visiting significantly reduced the odds of experiencing both adverse birth events, with a larger program effect for the low birth weight outcome. Conclusions for Practice: Results suggest that selective prevention strategies must be accompanied by universal attempts to improve the health and life circumstances of low income and minority women.


home visiting, birth outcomes, preterm birth, low birth weight, propensity score

Publication Title

Maternal and Child Health Journal





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This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review (when applicable) and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at: 10.1007/s10995-020-03054-7


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