Introduction: Preterm and low birth weight tend to occur as a direct result of prenatal risky behaviors, diseases, as well as fetal exposure to harmful social and environmental factors. The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between job style and preterm low birth weight.

Methods: The present case-control study was conducted in the Kamali hospital, Teheran, Iran in 2014. Participants included 156 mothers having a gestational age of less than 37 weeks and infants weighing less than 2500 gm. Additionally, the control group consisted of 433 mothers with a gestational age of over 37 weeks and having infants weighing between 2500-4000 gm. The data were collected using the Mother's Lifestyle Scale (MLS) during pregnancy based on recognized social determinants of health and those developed by the researchers. The domain of the mother's job style was assessed using a questionnaire consisting of 18 items on topics such as working conditions, job satisfaction, and perceived employer empathy. Higher overall scores in this instrument indicate the mother’s poorer job style. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 16 and Lisrel version 8.8 through a statistical path analysis.

Results: The model fit indices indicated that there was found to be high favorability, demonstrated that the model fit and that there were rational relationships (CFI=1, RMSEA=0.00), and showed that on the direct path that the mother's job style had the most adverse effect (B=-0.3) with weight gain during pregnancy showing the most positive effect (B=0.16) on PLBW. The mother’s level of education was found to be the only variable that affected PLBW negatively in both the direct and indirect paths through the mother's job style and household income (B=-0.17). 

Conclusion: According the path analysis model, job style has a direct influence on preterm low birth weight. Thus, special consideration should be placed on aspects surrounding a mother’s job situation in order to prevent any adverse effects.


Keywords: Job style, Preterm birth weight, Pathways, Low birth weight
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