PURPOSE: This comparative descriptive study was conducted to determine differences in maternal health related characteristics, child rearing burden, and social support depending on economic status. METHOD: Using home visits, data were collected from 100 poverty stricken mothers, 51 in the extremely poor group and 49 in the low income group, and 200 mothers of a general group being seen in one public health center. The instrument used for this study was a self-report questionnaire to identify maternal health variables including child rearing burden and social support. RESULTS: Parent's education level, marital status, and primary caregiver were significantly different according to socioeconomic status. Poverty stricken groups showed poor rates for prenatal checkups, lower Fe supplementation, and more artificial abortions and history of cesarean section. Continuing breast feeding as planned was significantly lower for mothers with low economic status. Present health problems of the mother, child-rearing burden, and social support were not significantly different among the three groups. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that special attention and interventions for the poverty stricken groups is important to improve maternal and child health status.