Decision modeling and validation of the criteria women engage when they choose between clinics in the lower Rio-Grande Valley




Weaver, Maria-Raquel

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This thesis examines how low-income women living in South Texas choose among options for formal prenatal care. I use data gathered in 2003--2005 to create a decision model chart based on women's set of behavioral rules which are engaged when they choose between clinics. I also use this data to explore women's validation of their clinic and provider choice. Results suggest that clinic choice is influenced by the area's political economy and the women's access to social networks. In order to understand choice we must look to women's wage earning resources, the clinic's cost, and the clinic's unique services. This decision modeling approach and the conclusions it rendered contribute to the anthropological literature on reproduction, minority health, and the political economy of health.


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authoritative knowlege, birth, disparity, health, Latino, pregnancy