Study Shows Community Collaboration Supports Healthier Birth Weights in Georgia Counties

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Georgia typically is among the 10 worst states in the nation for the percentage of babies born weighing 2,500 grams or less (less than 5.5 pounds). This is according to the national KIDS COUNT Data Books published each year over the past two decades. The good news is that, according to the results of a recent evaluation study released by Georgia Family Connection Partnership, community collaboration contributes to more infants being born at healthy weights in Georgia.

The evaluation study looked at rates of babies born at low birthweights (LBW) in a group of 25 Georgia counties that targeted this indicator for at least two years, and then compared LBW in these counties to matched comparison counties in four states in the Southeast to see if this direct focus improved results for the measure.

A key part of the study was selecting a comparison set of counties in Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Virginia that were similar to Georgia counties in every way, except having community collaboratives directly targeting LBW. The data analysis technique we used for matching counties on multiple characteristics—propensity score matching—is the leading method for emulating the conditions of a randomized experiment and allows us to credit any differences in LBW to effects of collaboration.

The study’s key findings are consistent with our hypothesis that Georgia Family Connection collaboratives contribute to promoting healthy births and improving the rate of low birthweight in Georgia counties.

Read the Evaluation Snapshot to learn more details about this study.

William Valladares
GaFCP Communications Coordinator

404-527-7394 (x114)

Naja Williamson
Georgia KIDS COUNT coordinator
404-527-7394 (x133)