Maternity shelter care for adolescents: Its effect on incidence of low birth weight

Katherine D. LaGuardia, Maurice L. Druzin, Carol Eades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A group of 112 pregnant adolescents residing in a maternity shelter was compared with a group of 113 pregnant adolescents residing in their own homes but receiving identical medical care. The sheltered group was made up of a particularly high-risk group: they were more likely to be black, unmarried, receiving public assistance, and registered later for prenatal care than the group living at home. Despite these differences, the sheltered group delivered significantly fewer infants of low birth weight and preterm gestation than the control group. Variables assessed in this study fail to explain this difference. It is concluded that the services offered in a maternity shelter can have a positive impact on the reduction of low birth weight deliveries in a group of high-risk patients. These results indicate that the social and behavioral correlates of low birth weight remain to be fully defined and understood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-306
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent pregnancy
  • low birth weight
  • maternity shelter


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