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Social science & medicine


Although the socioeconomic impact of school desegregation in the U.S. has been well documented, little is known about the health consequences of this policy. The purpose of this study was to quantify the associations between school desegregation and adolescent births among black and white females. We compared the change in prevalence of adolescent births in areas that implemented school desegregation plans in the 1970s with areas that implemented school desegregation plans in other decades, using difference-in-difference methods with 1970 and 1980 Census microdata. School desegregation policy in the U.S. in the 1970s was associated with a significant reduction of 3.2 percentage points in the prevalence of births among black female adolescents between 1970 and 1980. This association was specific to black female adolescents and was not observed among white adolescents.



Published Citation

Liu, S. Y., Linkletter, C. D., Loucks, E. B., Glymour, M. M., & Buka, S. L. (2012). Decreased births among black female adolescents following school desegregation. Social science & medicine (1982), 74(7), 982–988. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.12.029