"Associations between Maternal Depressive Symptoms and Diathesis Factors in Families with Young Children Having Developmental Delay or Disability", Yui Matsuda, PhD, PI

The purpose of this study was to examine associations between maternal depressive symptoms and number of children with DD/disability accounting for maternal diathesis factors (predisposing conditions that may lead to negative maternal/family outcome) and family stress factors.

This study was a secondary analysis of the pooled baseline data from three intervention studies conducted by Beeber et al.; The “Wings” Depressive Symptom Intervention for Latina Mothers, Reducing Depressive Symptoms in Low-Income Mothers, EHS Latina Mothers: Reducing Depressive Symptoms and Improving Infant/Toddler Mental Health (n=376). In the model including family stress factors, there was a significant linear relationship in the mean for maternal depressive symptoms across the number of children with DD/disability. Mothers of more children with DD/disabilities tend to have higher scores on depressive symptoms. Higher Family conflict and the presence of child’s medical condition were significant correlates of higher mean maternal depressive symptoms. Mothers who have multiple children with DD/disabilities require extra support for their mental health so that they can best attend to their children’s developmental needs. Other potential intervention targets would be conflict management at the family level, reduction in maternal depressive symptoms as well as mothers’ empowerment and self-support, and managing the children’s medical needs. A manuscript is under review.