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Supporting the Mental Health of Mothers Raising Children in Poverty: How Do We Target Them for Intervention Studies?

Citation

Beeber, Linda S.; Perreira, Krista M.; & Schwartz, Todd A. (2008). Supporting the Mental Health of Mothers Raising Children in Poverty: How Do We Target Them for Intervention Studies?. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1136, 86-100. PMCID: PMC4225774

Abstract

Poverty increases maternal stress by heightening exposure to negative life events, job loss, chronic strains, poor housing, dangerous neighborhoods, and conflict with partners, culminating in crippling depressive symptoms, the most prevalent mental health threat. Depressive symptoms interfere with the provision of the strong maternal support needed to counter the hardships of poverty, thus placing infants and toddlers at risk for delayed language, social and emotional development. Initial clinical trials in high-risk mothers have shown promise and successive tests of interventions will be strengthened if mothers who have mental health risks can be accurately targeted for inclusion. This paper reports on a sequential, data-driven process by which high risk mothers were targeted for intervention in two trials currently in progress to reduce depressive symptoms. An iterative process of using data to identify at risk mothers and validate the presence of risk factors helped hone the recruitment and design of the intervention trials. Guidance for further study is offered.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1196/annals.1425.008

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2008

Journal Title

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Author(s)

Beeber, Linda S.
Perreira, Krista M.
Schwartz, Todd A.

PMCID

PMC4225774