Session: Parental Mental Health across the Globe: Inequities and Protective Factors Impacting Families with Young Children (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

118 Parental Mental Health across the Globe: Inequities and Protective Factors Impacting Families with Young Children

Friday, January 13, 2023: 2:00 PM-3:30 PM
Camelback A, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Mental Health
Symposium Organizer:
Ruth Paris, PhD, Boston University
Parents' mental health is profoundly connected to their young child's growth and development across the globe. Moreover, social inequities such as low socioeconomic status, racial/ethnic discrimination, and/or immigration often impact parental well-being and shape how individual parents manage subsequent stressors. Parents' mental health difficulties, such as posttraumatic stress and depression, and concomitant experiences such as guilt, helplessness, and exhaustion are associated with how adults experience parenting and how they subsequently parent their children. It is important to better understand the relationships among these factors for parents globally to develop effective interventions and/or to culturally adapt current EBPs for effective implementation. The four papers in this symposium, representing research in three different countries, use quantitative and qualitative data to examine experiences of parental mental health with the aim of identifying coping and protective factors. Paper number one, using survey data, examines whether the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated social inequities for pregnant and postpartum Israeli Jewish and Arab women creating maternal mental health outcome disparities. Findings demonstrate that maternal depressive symptoms, which were elevated during the pandemic, vary differentially for Jewish and Arab women, with higher COVID-19 contamination and economic anxiety moderating depression for the former (more depression) and higher social support moderating depression for the latter (less depression). Paper number two explores possible protective factors that could mediate the relationship between maternal trauma and parenting stress among largely low-income Latinx immigrant mothers in the US who were participating in an adapted version of Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) in Spanish with their young children. Results suggest that social support and family functioning may act as buffers for the mothers, despite their extensive trauma-related symptoms. Paper number three examines posttreatment qualitative interviews with the same Latinx immigrant mothers in the US who participated in CPP. The analysis focuses on their experiences of the bilingual/bicultural clinician and perceived benefits of the intervention. Findings reveal that mothers perceive the clinicians as friends, family, and professionals, who teach them to better understand and interact with their children and to feel better about themselves as people and mothers. Finally, paper number four reports on outcomes from a randomized wait list-controlled trial of a dyadic psychosocial intervention for children with eczema and their parents in Hong Kong focused on improving quality of life and coping related to managing a chronic illness. Results show significant improvement for parents on many dimensions including holistic well-being, perceived stress, and anxiety demonstrating the importance of addressing the psychosocial aspects of childhood illness for both the parent and the child.

Collectively, these four papers advance our understanding of the similar factors that contribute to mental health for parents from multiple cultures, living away from home countries, or in marginalized conditions. Both stressors and protective factors are identified, along with how they function within families. Findings also illustrate potential avenues for offering culturally responsive interventions. Further social work research should continue to expand on this line of cross-cultural inquiry.

* noted as presenting author
Social Inequity in Maternal Mental Health: The Case of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Israel
Rena Bina, PhD, Bar Ilan University; Drorit Levy, PhD, Bar Ilan University, Israel; Samira Alfayumi-Zeadna, PhD, Ben Gurion University
Experiences of Latinx Immigrant Mothers in a Culturally Adapted Dyadic Home-Based Intervention
Ruth Paris, PhD, Boston University; Meital Simhi, PhD, Boston University; Julia Lee, BS, Boston University
See more of: Symposia