Mental Health Articles

Study Finds Depression High Among Low-Income Urban Mothers

Depression doesn’t tend to play favorites on who it can impact, but some individuals are more prone to infliction due to their surroundings. According to new research featured in the Science Daily, more than half of low-income urban mothers met the criteria for depression diagnosis at some point between two weeks and 14 months after giving birth.

This finding is according to research conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center and is the first study to describe the prevalence of depression among low-income urban mothers. These individuals were attending well-child care visits and were diagnosed during an interview.

According to researchers, the screening tools have high accuracy for identifying depression, although cutoff scores may need to be altered to identify depression more accurately among low-income urban mothers. Findings revealed that 56 percent of the mothers met the criteria for diagnosis of a major or minor depressive disorder after a diagnostic interview.

“This is an unexpected, very high proportion to meet diagnostic criteria for depression,” said Linda H. Chaudron, M.D., associate professor of Psychology, Pediatrics and of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Science Daily.

“This may be a group at high risk for depression. The message of this study is that pediatricians and other clinicians who work with low-income urban mothers have multiple screening tools that are easy to use and accurate. These tools can help clinicians identify mothers with depression so they can be referred for help.”

Clinical depression can occur in new mothers when depressive feeling persist or worsen. Symptoms include insomnia, persistent sadness, lack of interest in nearly all activity, anxiety, change in appetite, persistent feelings of guilt and thoughts of harming oneself or the baby.