Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (Dr.PH.)

Degree Granting Department

Community and Family Health

Major Professor

Russell Kirby, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Sappenfield, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lauri Wright, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Himmelgreen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Julie Baldwin, Ph.D.


food insecurity, gestational weight gain, neighborhood deprivation, maternal characteristics


Gestational weight gain outside the recommended ranges puts women at risk for pregnancy complications and adverse birth outcomes. Food insecurity and environmental factors including neighborhood deprivation may influence gestational weight gain. This research 1) examines the impact of neighborhood deprivation on gestational weight gain, 2) identifies if the association varies by selected maternal characteristics, 3) examines the relationship between food insecurity and gestational weight gain, 4) determines if stress mediates the relationship between food insecurity and gestational weight gain, and 5) examines whether selected maternal characteristics mediate this relationship. The research was conducted through the analysis of the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, the American Community Survey and Florida Vital Statistics. Bivariate analyses, logistic regression and multilevel logistic regression were conducted to examine the associations. Results indicate that neighborhood deprivation and food insecurity are important risk factors for gestational weight gain that vary by stress and maternal characteristics.