The influence of maternal–fetal attachment and health practices on neonatal outcomes in low-income, urban women


  • This study was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health (T32MH20014-08), the National Institute of Nursing Research (F31NR010957-01A), and the National Center for Research Resources (5KL2RR025006), a component of the National Institutes of Health and the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.


Maternal–fetal attachment (MFA) has been associated with health practices during pregnancy, but less is known about this relationship in low-income women, and no identified studies have examined this relationship to neonatal outcomes. This longitudinal descriptive study was conducted to examine the relationships among MFA, health practices during pregnancy, and neonatal outcomes in a sample of low-income, predominantly African-American women and their neonates. MFA was associated with health practices during pregnancy and adverse neonatal outcomes. Health practices during pregnancy mediated the relationships of MFA and adverse neonatal outcomes. The results support the importance of examining MFA in our efforts to better understand the etiology of health disparities in neonatal outcomes. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 35:112–120, 2012