The Excess Preterm Birth Rate Among US-Born (Compared to Foreign-Born) Black Women: The Role of Father’s Education

Paris Ekeke, Kristin Rankin, Carla DeSisto, James W. Collins*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: To ascertain the component of the excess preterm birth (< 37 weeks, PTB) rate among US-born (compared to foreign-born) Black women attributable to differences in acknowledged father’s education attainment. Methods: Stratified analyses and Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition methods were performed on the 2013 National Center for Health Statistics birth certificate files of singleton infants with acknowledged fathers. Results: US-born Black women (N = 196,472) had a PTB rate of 13.3%, compared to 10.8% for foreign-born Black women (N = 51,334; Risk Difference (95% confidence interval) = 2.5 (2.3, 2.8). Infants of US-born black women had a greater a percentage of fathers with a high school diploma or less and a lower percentage of fathers with bachelor’s degrees or higher than their counterparts of foreign-born women. In both subgroups, PTB rates tended to decline as the level of paternal education attainment rose. In an Oaxaca model (controlling for maternal age, education, marital status, parity, adequacy of prenatal care utilization, and chronic medical conditions), differences in paternal education attainment explained 15% of the maternal nativity disparity in PTB rates. In contrast, maternal education attainment accounted for approximately 4% of the disparity in PTB rates. Conclusions for Practice: Acknowledged father’s low level of education attainment, or something closely related to it, explains a notable proportion of the disparity in PTB rates between US-born and foreign-born Black women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-852
Number of pages8
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Father’s education
  • Maternal nativity
  • Preterm birth rates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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