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Sociodemographic, psychosocial and physical health correlates of common mental disorder symptoms among mothers in Trinidad and Tobago: Examining ethnic variations

Authors


  • Ambika Krishnakumar is responsible for the overall drafting the article, designing the study and data analysis. Lutchmie Narine is responsible for designing the study and interpretation of data. Jaipaul L. Roopnarine is responsible for the data analysis and evaluating the article for content. Carol Logie is responsible for the data collection and data analysis. Dr. Bheshem Ramlal provided general guidance and Mikey Bedasie assisted with sample recruitment. Mr. David Thomas and other staff members at the FDCRC assisted with the study logistics and data verification. A special thanks to the families and children who permitted us to look at different aspects of their daily life. This work was supported by funds provided to the authors by their affiliated universities.

Abstract

Historical and cultural experiences have shaped the life experiences of cultural communities in Trinidad and Tobago. Using a cultural focus, the goal of this investigation was to examine ethnic variations both in the prevalence of common mental disorder (CMD) symptoms as well as in the associations between sociodemographic, psychosocial, physical health correlates and CMDs among mothers in Trinidad and Tobago. Participants included 1002 mothers (359 African-, 353 Indo- and 290 Mixed-Ethnic Trinidadian). Mean comparisons indicated similarities in the levels of depression, somatisation and anxiety across ethnic groups. The associations between physical ill health, experiences of pain and depression and between physical ill health and somatisation were stronger for Mixed-Ethnic Trinidadian than Indo-Trinidadian mothers. The relationship between early experiences of domestic violence and depression was stronger for Indo-Trinidadian than Mixed-Ethnic Trinidadian mothers. The associations between early experiences of domestic violence and depression and between experiences of pain and somatisation were stronger for African Trinidadian than Mixed-Ethnic Trinidadian mothers. Thus beyond the direct effects, mothers belonging to specific ethnic groups indicated greater or lesser vulnerabilities to CMDs depending on their exposure to specific correlates. Results have applicability for the development of culturally sensitive interventions for mothers experiencing CMDs.

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