Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Fawaz Mzayek

Committee Member

James Gurney

Committee Member

Xinhua Yu

Committee Member

George Relyea


Residential mobility is associated with adverse health and health behaviors. Pregnant women who move, and their babies may therefore have adverse health effects such as low birth weight, preterm delivery and postpartum depressive symptoms as a result of moving. However, few studies have examined these associations.The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence and correlates of residential mobility in a sample of pregnant women and to determine if residential mobility during pregnancy is associated with adverse birth outcomes and postpartum depressive symptoms. It was hypothesized that movers will have babies with lower birth weight, on average, deliver more preterm babies, and have higher prevalence of postpartum depressive symptoms than non-movers. Data were obtained from the Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood (CANDLE) Study. Participants were pregnant women between the ages of 16 and 40, between 16 and 28 weeks pregnant at enrollment.Results indicated that the prevalence of residential mobility was approximately nine percent. Educational attainment [less than high school (adjusted odds ration [aOR] = 3.29, 95% CI = 1.45, 7.49) and high school/technical school (aOR = 3.47, 95% CI = 1.95, 6.19) compared to college degree or higher], and length of residence (aOR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.85, 0.96) were associated with residential mobility. There was no association of residential mobility with birth weight (aOR = 0.68, 95% CI = 0.15, 2.97) or preterm delivery (aOR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.41, 1.50). In multivariable analysis, there was no association of residential mobility with postpartum depressive symptoms (aOR = 1.51, 95% CI = 0.84, 2.71). There was, however, effect modification by stress of the association between residential mobility and postpartum depressive symptoms (P = .02). Among women with stress, there was no effect of residential mobility on postpartum depressive symptoms (aOR = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.11, 1.16). While there was an association of residential mobility with postpartum depressive symptoms among women without stress (aOR = 1.96, 95% CI = 0.99, 3.90). These findings indicate that residential mobility in pregnant women does not have an adverse effect on birth weight or preterm delivery. However, more studies are needed on residential mobility during pregnancy, especially to accurately characterize its effect on postpartum depression.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.