The Starting Gate
Birth Weight and Life Chances
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Seven percent of newborns in the United States weigh in at less than five and one half pounds. These "low birth weight" babies face challenges that others will never know—challenges that begin with a greater risk of infant mortality and extend well into adulthood in the form of health and developmental problems. Because low birth weight is often accompanied by social risk factors such as minority racial status, low education, young maternal age, and low income, the question of causes and consequences—of precisely how biological and social factors figure into this equation—becomes especially tricky to sort out. This is the question that The Starting Gate takes up, bringing a novel perspective to the nature-nurture debate by using the starting point of birth as a lens to examine biological and social inheritance.
University of California Press, 9780520239555, 268pp.
Publication Date: October 8, 2003
About the Author
Dalton Conley is Director of the Center for Advanced Social Science Research and Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at NYU; he is also Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and Adjunct Professor of Community Medicine at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Kate W. Strully is a doctoral candidate at New York University. Neil G. Bennett is Professor at the Baruch School of Public Affairs and in the Department of Sociology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.