, Volume 17, Issue 7, pp 1277-1287
Date: 09 Sep 2012

Relationships of Race and Socioeconomic Status to Postpartum Depressive Symptoms in Rural African American and Non-Hispanic White Women

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This study examines the potential racial disparity in postpartum depression (PPD) symptoms among a cohort of non-Hispanic white and African American women after taking into consideration the influence of socioeconomic status (SES). Participants (N = 299) were recruited from maternity clinics serving rural counties, with oversampling of low SES and African Americans. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was administered 1 and 6 months postpartum, and subjective SES scale at 6 months postpartum. Demographic information was collected during enrollment and 1 month postpartum, with updates at 6 months postpartum. Separate logistic regressions were conducted for 1 and 6 month time points for minor-major PPD (EPDS ≥ 10) and major PPD (EPDS > 12); with marital status, poverty, education, subjective SES, and race predictors entered in block sequence. After including all other predictors, race was not a significant predictor of minor-major or major PPD at 1 or 6 months postpartum. Subjective SES was the most consistent predictor of PPD, being significantly associated with minor-major PPD and major PPD at 6 months postpartum, with higher subjective SES indicating lower odds of PPD, even after accounting for all other predictors. This study shows that significant racial disparities were not observed for minor-major or major PPD criteria at 1 or 6 months postpartum. The most consistent and significant predictor of PPD was subjective SES. Implications of these findings for future research, as well as PPD screening and intervention are discussed.