Employment Status, Depressive Symptoms, and the Mediating/Moderating Effects of Single Mothers' Coping Repertoire
Article first published online: 26 OCT 2007
Public Health Nursing
Volume 24, Issue 6, pages 491–502, November/December 2007
How to Cite
Samuels-Dennis, J. (2007), Employment Status, Depressive Symptoms, and the Mediating/Moderating Effects of Single Mothers' Coping Repertoire. Public Health Nursing, 24: 491–502. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2007.00661.x
- Issue published online: 26 OCT 2007
- Article first published online: 26 OCT 2007
- depressive symptoms;
- single mothers;
ABSTRACT Objective: Single mothers, especially those on social assistance, report significantly more depressive symptoms than the general public. This article examines the relationships among employment status, stressful life events, and depressive symptoms among single mothers, with a special focus on the potential mediating and moderating roles of coping repertoire.
Design: Cross-sectional survey design.
Sample: Ninety-six single mothers (48 employed and 48 single mothers on social assistance) who were the primary caregiver for at least 1 child 4–18 years old.
Measurements: Mailed questionnaires that included an adapted version of the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, the Coping Strategy Inventory, and the Beck Depression Inventory, 2nd ed. were completed by study participants.
Results: Coping repertoire did not mediate the relationship between either employment status or stress exposure and depressive symptoms. Coping had an antagonistic and differential moderating effect on the association between employment status and depressive symptoms for employed single mothers and mothers receiving social assistance.
Conclusion: Effective strategies aimed at promoting single mothers' mental health need to address both the severity of depressive symptoms found among single mothers, and the social-system factors that threaten single mothers' psychological well-being. The implications for practice and policy are discussed.