The demographics of rural America are rapidly changing and concerns about mental health are growing. This study examined relationships between individual, family, and community factors and depressive symptomology among rural low-income Latina and non-Latina White mothers.
The sample for this study was drawn from the study, Rural Families Speak about Health. Data from interviews with 371 rural low-income mothers (36% Latina; 64% non-Latina White) were analyzed and descriptive and multivariate analyses were performed.
One-third of mothers experienced clinically significant depressive symptomology; non-Latinas experienced twice the rate as Latinas. Limitation in daily activities due to poor physical health predicted clinically significant depressive symptomology among both groups. Among non-Latinas, high levels of financial distress and lack of healthcare insurance predicted clinically significant depressive symptomology, and use of WIC and high levels of healthful eating and physical activity routines were protective factors. Age, single marital status, unemployment, transportation barriers, food insecurity, and inadequate health insurance predicted clinically significant depressive symptomology among Latinas.
Program administrators should consider factors associated with depression among specific populations as they design programs and services.
Factors not accounted (e.g., nativity of mothers) should be explored to more fully understand predictors of depressive symptomology among rural Latina and non-Latina mothers.
This original research considers how the relationships between individual, family, and community factors and depressive symptomology differ between rural low-income Latina and non-Latina White mothers. The authors discuss potential factors and outcomes related to depressive symptomology and provide suggestions for research, programs and services.
This study is based on data from the cooperative multi-state research project, NC1171 “Interactions of Individual, Family, Community, and Policy Contexts on the Mental and Physical Health of Diverse Rural Low Income Families” (commonly known as “Rural Families Speak about Health” (RFSH)). RFSH has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at Iowa State University.
Downey, J. and Greder, K. (2014), "Depressive Symptomology Among Rural Low-Income Latina and Non-Latina White Mothers", Family and Health: Evolving Needs, Responsibilities, and Experiences (Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research, Vol. 8B), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 247-269. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1530-35352014000008B017
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