Maternal age and depressive symptoms in a low-income sample



In this study, depressive symptoms of 2,011 European-American, African-American, and Latina low-income mothers at approximately 14 months after birth of the child were examined. Maternal age was used as a predictor of depressive symptoms. Overall, 31.9% of mothers were classified as depressed using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Younger mothers tended to have more depressive symptoms among European-American mothers only. Latina mothers had fewer depressive symptoms than African-American and European-American mothers. Number of children 5 years and under in the home was positively related to depressive symptoms. In addition, mothers with higher levels of self-mastery reported fewer symptoms of depression. Implications for preventing maternal depressive symptoms are discussed. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.