Friday, 14 January 2005 - 12:00 PM
This presentation is part of: Poster Session I
Modifiable Poverty-Related Risk Factors for Depression in African American MothersKristine Siefert, MSW, PhD, MPH, School of Social Work, Tracy L. Finlayson, BA, School of Public Health, Amid I. Ismail, BDS, MPH,DrPH, School of Dentistry, Jorge Delva, MSW, PhD, School of Social Work, and David R. Williams, PhD, MPH, Institute for Social Research.
Objectives. Depression is highly prevalent in poor mothers, and is associated with significant impairment in social and occupational functioning, as well as with deleterious effects on child development. African American mothers are overrepresented among the poor and are at especially high risk. However, traditional risk factors such as low socioeconomic status are ubitiquous in this population, and global or otherwise difficult to modify. Thus, identifying specific and modifiable risk factors for depression has important implications for detection and intervention.
Methods: Data are from the Detroit Center for Research on Oral Health Disparities (funded by NIDCR grant U-54 DE 14261-01 and the Delta Dental Fund of Michigan). The Center's research program seeks to understand the determinants of oral health status among young African American children and their primary caregivers. The Center's Methodology Core selected a multistage random sample of African American families living in the poorest 39 census tracts in the City of Detroit. The study cohort includes 1022 children and their caregivers. The present analysis is limited to biological mothers and includes 938 mothers of children under 6. Data were collected in face-to-face interviews conducted at the Center. Nested logistic regression models estimated the effects of specific and modifiable poverty-related risk factors, while controlling for a broad array of traditional risk factors for maternal depression.
Results: In a population of very poor mothers with high levels of depressive symptoms (CESD>16=33%, >26=15%), we found that specific and modifiable risk factors such as household food insufficiency significantly predicted maternal depression beyond global sociodemographic risk factors such as education or household income. Access to transportation, childcare, help with errands, and a loan in a serious financial crisis were associated with a significantly decreased risk of depression.
Implications for Practice and Policy: If confirmed by longitudinal research, these findings have practical implications for the identification, treatment, and prevention of maternal depression, as well as for social policies aimed at alleviating the fundamental causes of disease.
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