Title

Risk factors related to postpartum depression in low-income Latina mothers

Date of Completion

January 2008

Keywords

Women's Studies|Psychology, Clinical|Education, Health|Hispanic American Studies

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine risk factors associated with postpartum depression in a sample of low-income Latina mothers. The study had a total of 141 pregnant women. It was hypothesized that women with fewer resources would be at greater risk for postpartum depression than women with greater resources. It was also hypothesized that women with a history of depression and depression during pregnancy would have the greatest risk for postpartum depression. In addition, it was predicted that there would be ethnic group differences in risk factors and postpartum depression with Latinas endorsing more risk factors and more postpartum depression than non-Latino women. Exploratory analyses were also conducted to examine the relationship between parental stress and postpartum depression as well as the relationship between risk factors and overall psychological distress. ^ Although separate regression analyses were planned to examine ethnic group differences, the analyses were conducted for the total sample and for Latinas only due to the small number of Non-Latina women. Results from the study indicated that socioeconomic risk factors did not predict postpartum depression for the overall sample, but did predict for Latina women. In addition, Latinas with a history of depression and depression during pregnancy were at greater risk for postpartum depression. Results also showed parental stress did not significantly contribute to postpartum depression. Moreover, Latinas with more risk factors did not show improvements in depressive symptoms and overall psychological distress from baseline to postpartum. ^