Overall Research Experience Summer 2019

My research was fixed on the increasing rate of maternal mortality, specifically among incarcerated women and black or African American women. Additional topics of this study might include the mortality rate of children birthed by incarcerated women, the location these women are from and where their prison is located, increasing mortality rate of incarcerated women of color, as well as subsidiary factors that affect the health of imprisoned women. Previously recorded/public access data was analyzed for causation variables of this high mortality rate and will be presented with information collected by analyzing the most recent literary sources regarding this topic.

During my research, I was tasked with searching for information, downloading data sets, and conducting data management/cleaning. I began with the maternal mortality rates overall in the U.S., then moved on to finding information of the incarcerated population of females – also by state in the United States. After consulting my advisor, Professor Obasanjo, I then understood more about the statistical analysis that would need to happen at the end of the data collection process. The timeline for this research is 1997-2017, however, the control variables are only for a median year because some of the information had to be collected from the census bureau.

But first, I would need to gather the control variable for our research which we decided upon as the poverty rate/unemployment rate, number of minority persons (which ended up just being black persons in this case), and overall rate of drug use per state. Since there is no accurate way to record overall drug use, the data set for that control variable had to be drug related deaths (of all types, not just opioids). After collecting all the necessary information, I put together a master document including all variable data tables. At this point, everything is prepared for the analysis portion of the project and can be combined with work that another person in my lab has collected on the legislation within these systems.

The regression analysis portion of the work will likely be completed by my advisor once she is able to review the master copy of merged information. I will also continue to do my own analysis and data mapping in preparation for a research symposium in the fall.

My participation in this research project taught me a lot in terms of data manipulation and cleaning. I also learned how to make progress, prioritize, and have something to show at meetings even when obstacles pop up. However, something that may stick with me even moreso is the excitement that comes with learning and something new and figuring things out, outside of the typical classroom setting. I would love to follow through with this research and maybe work in other labs like it to apply the skills I have learned and want to continue to grow.


  1. mnwarner says:

    It is interesting to see how much this project has progressed since last summer. I am very intrigued by this topic and believe it is necessary for the results of this topic, whatever they may be, to be published. I did research regarding this topic last summer and I am excited to learn even more about it with your research.

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