This study identified coping and sociodemographic correlates and predictors of depressive symptoms in mothers at risk for clinical depression. A descriptive, cross-sectional design was employed. A convenience sample of 88 low-income or ethnic-minority mothers aged 21 to 45 completed a depression scale, demographic data sheet, and responded to an open-ended question. Content analysis, descriptive, and inferential statistics was used for data analysis. Exactly 42.5% of mothers reported high depressive symptoms (>16). Lower income levels (r =.342, p =.01) and head-of-household status (r =.220, p =.04) were significantly associated with higher depressive symptoms. Those who used social support coping had lower depressive symptoms than those who did not (t = 2.50, p =.014). Those using emotion-focused coping only had higher depressive symptoms than those using a mix of coping strategies (t = 2.60, p =.011). Healthcare providers can employ vigilant depression screening and encourage utilization of a mix of problem and emotion-focused coping strategies to reduce depressive symptoms and prevent clinical depression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- depressive symptoms
- health disparities
- mental health
- women’s health