Risk factors and protective factors of mortality assignment


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Human Growth and Development
Protective and Risk Factors of Infant Mortality

Worth: 100 Points (Each criteria listed on the Grading Rubric is worth 25 points)

For this assignment you will read the “Hypothetical Couple” description below and compose a report about the factors that will influence the likelihood of their infant surviving the first year of life as well as what factors put their child at risk.  

This assignment assesses your ability to analyze the situation, think critically about what factors are involved and those that should be considered when taking a position on whether or not this child will be another infant mortality statistic.  Your responses will be graded using the Hinds Community College’s Critical Thinking/Problem Solving Rubric that assesses the institution’s critical thinking competency.   Refer to the syllabus with regards to late submissions.

1. Read the following description:

Charlotte and Chandler are expecting their first child in two months.  They have been told they are having a boy.  They live in a rural part of Mississippi.  They have been together as a couple for a little over a year.  They are not married and both are not sure whether or not they would like to be in the future.  The couple lives together in a small, one bedroom house.  Charlotte is 21 years-old and is a student at the local community college.  She had a full-time job at a retail store that she recently quit. She is considered a good student, as usually makes As and Bs. She plans to continue to pursue her degree after the baby is born.  Chandler is 22 years-old, and never finished high school.  He has no plans to earn his GED and he works odd-jobs within the construction field.  Although neither of them had health insurance, Charlotte signed up for Medicaid benefits when she found out she was pregnant.  Now on Medicaid, she routinely sees her OB/GYN.  

Both Charlotte and Chandler are emotionally close to their own parents.  They both come from middle class families.  All of their parents work and are not able to financially contribute to the couple’s income on a regular basis.  Although their parents are emotionally supportive to them, they don’t give them a lot of guidance about how to handle things in life or how to deal with their situation as a couple.

Charlotte and Chandler have been arguing a lot over money and role expectations.    Chandler takes on extra jobs to earn more money.  Charlotte doesn’t like him taking extra jobs because it takes away from the time they can spend together.  Charlotte wants Chandler to stay home with her more as she feels lonely and sad due to the changes that are occurring to her body and her life.  Chandler spends more time away from the house to get away from the negativity he feels when he is around Charlotte.  This leads Charlotte feeling even lonelier. She reacts by fighting with Chandler when he is home, which drives him further away.  Both feel they are under tremendous stress that the other one doesn’t understand.

Although Charlotte wants to stop, she has continued to smoke cigarettes throughout the pregnancy.  She also worries about gaining too much weight.  She often skips meals and eats snacks throughout the day including chips, crackers, and cheese.  She also drinks large amounts of Mountain Dew.  She has stopped taking her prenatal vitamins since they make her feel more nauseated. 

Her doctor has informed her that she needs to take care of herself better by getting rest, eating well, and watching her blood pressure.  The doctor is unaware of her unhealthy habits.  He has been concerned that Charlotte has not gained weight throughout the pregnancy like expected. She in turn is hoping that the baby will be born early so that she won’t have to gain as much weight or go through the pain of labor that she is anticipating.

Neither, Charlotte or Chandler, are prepared for when the baby comes home.  Both are the youngest in their own families and have very limited experience with newborns and children in general.  Neither has taken a child preparation class or read any books about parenting.  They both think they will “wing” it, but are really depending on their own mothers to guide them.  When asked about caregiving, neither of them has made any realistic plans for the near future. 

  1. From what you have learned this semester (coming from e-text and Power Points), compose a 2-3 PAGE typed report (SINGLE-SPACED, no larger than a 12 point font) that addresses the following:
  • Discuss infant mortality rates and main causes of death during infancy.
  • Identify the protective factors (things are favorable for healthy development) for this child based on the hypothetical couple description above.
  • Identify the risk factors (things that are unfavorable for healthy development) for this child based on this hypothetical couple description above.
  • Discuss how the factors you identified are related to infant mortality rates.
  • Identify what other things must be considered that the hypothetical description did not address.
  • State your opinion on whether or not you think this child would live to see his first birthday. Explain/support your position. 

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