247861 Maternal depression in immigrant families: Correlates and consequences

Monday, October 31, 2011

Nanmathi Manian, PhD , University Research Company, Center for Human Services, Bethesda, MD
Arianna Blaine, BA , National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD
Marc Bornstein, PhD , National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD
Despite the increasing visibility of immigrants across the country, little is understood about their mental health and services utilization. In addition to the stressors of being an immigrant, new motherhood represents a period of vulnerability for immigrant women due to the increased need to mobilize resources, language and cultural barriers, and the need to interface with the health-care system. Depression during the postpartum period has been documented to have devastating consequences on the mother as well as family, and has become a major public health concern in the recent years. We examine the longitudinal course, risk factors, and consequences of depressive disorders in 68 immigrant and 125 US-born mothers in a multi-ethnic sample. Mothers were classified into Depressed (n=77) and Control groups (n=116) based on a psychiatric interview (SCID-I) at 5 months postpartum, and were followed-up at 15 and 24 months. Logistic regression analysis indicated that more immigrant mothers were clinically depressed compared to US-born mothers (50% vs. 35%), regardless of race. This is striking given that the two groups did not differ significantly on socioeconomic risk factors. Depressed immigrant mothers had lower global functioning scores and were less likely to be in treatment (therapy or medication) compared with depressed US-born mothers. Although there were no differences in clinical indicators (e.g., comorbidity, lifetime history) Immigrant mothers had lower psychosocial functioning (marital adjustment, social support). These findings highlight the gap in mental health services utilization between immigrant and nonimmigrant families, and the need to tailor interventions to the postpartum period.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the diagnostic process and clinical measures of depression and other DSM-IV Axis I disorders. 2. Demonstrate the importance of taking a family and community perspective on mental health. 3. Design intervention services for postpartum immigrant women that include increased family and social support.

Keywords: Depression, Immigrant Women

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the Principal Investigator for the larger study at NIH.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.