Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

John Green

Relational Format



This thesis investigated the connection between socioeconomic status, healthcare coverage, and birth outcomes. The research question that was posed specifically looked at twenty perinatal services that states covered under Medicaid to varying degrees to see their association, if any, with premature birth rates and low birthweight rates. State-level and Mississippi county-level data were compiled regarding preterm birth rates, low birthweight rates, presumptive eligibility adoption, and coverage of twenty different perinatal services. Using these data, the correlation between state Medicaid expansion status and birth outcomes was first calculated in order to determine if variation in birth outcomes was associated with expanded Medicaid coverage. After this, the relationship between birth outcomes and poverty was determined at both the state level and the Mississippi county level. The research found that poverty had a very positive correlation with high rates of poor birth outcomes and that state-level coverage was minimally correlated with birth outcomes. This study concluded by calling for further research into the Medicaid system, preventative care models for Medicaid, or systemic reform to the healthcare delivery system.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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