Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Martin Ross

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Van Valey

Third Advisor

Dr. Lewis Walker

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Often referred to as "cot death" or "crib death," sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the single leading cause of infant death in infants aged 28 days to 1 year of life. Although the exact etiology of SIDS remains unknown, epidemiological studies have identified risk factors associated with higher rates of SIDS. In this study, the relationship between sudden infant death syndrome and maternal education among black women who gave birth in the United States during 1983 was examined.

The population for this study consisted of black infants who were born in 1983 and died before their first birthday. Among the 11,088 black infants who died during this period, 1,480 of the deaths were attributed to SIDS. Although this study controlled for race by examining SIDS cases among black women, the results confirmed the findings of previous research which found low maternal education to be significantly related with higher rates of SIDS.