African American mothers in south central Los Angeles : their fears for their newborn's future

by Mark A. Schuster, Neal Halfon, David L. Wood


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price
Add to Cart Paperback5 pages Free

This study explores what African American mothers in a low-income community fear for the future of their newborns. An interview study was conducted with mothers of recently born infants randomly sampled from birth certificate records in the spring of 1994 in 10 postal codes in the Compton Health District in south central Los Angeles, California, with high concentrations of low-income African American children. Thirty-nine percent of the mothers reported a fear of gangs, violence, or both. The largest other response categories included disease, illness, and health problems (17%); drugs and alcohol (15%); growing up in the local environment (10%); and society and the world in general (6%). More than half the fears are in the medical and public health domains. Some involve traditional health concerns (e.g., disease), while others are problems that the health professions have been addressing more recently (e.g., violence).

Originally published in: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, v. 152, March 1998, pp. 264-268.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.