Advertisement

Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 90, Issue 5, pp 320–324 | Cite as

12-Month Prevalence of Depression Among Single and Married Mothers in the 1994 National Population Health Survey

  • John Cairney
  • Cathy Thorpe
  • John Rietschlin
  • William R. Avison
Article

Abstract

While a number of studies have documented higher period prevalence rates of depression among single as compared to married mothers, all of the data have been based upon community surveys of mental illness. In Canada, all of the published work comes from Ontario. As a result, we do not know whether these results hold true for other regions of the country. Using a nationally representative sample, we find, consistent with previous work, that single mothers have almost double the 12-month prevalence rates of married mothers (15.4% versus 6.8%). As well, there are no significant differences in rates of depression between single and married mothers by region/province of the country. Our findings are compared with other epidemiologic data on the mental health of single mothers from Ontario.

Résumé

Bien que plusieurs études aient fait apparaître des taux de prévalence de périodes de dépression plus élevées chez les mères célibataires que chez les mères mariées, toutes les données venaient d’enquêtes communautaires sur les maladies mentales. Au Canada, toutes les études publiées viennent de l’Ontario. En conséquence, on ne sait pas si ces résultats valent également pour les autres régions du pays. À partir d’un échantillon national représentatif, nous constatons, comme l’indiquent au demeurant les études antérieures, que les taux de prévalence sur 12 mois des mères célibataires sont près du double de ceux des mères mariées (15,4 % par rapport à 6,8 %). De même, il n’existe aucune différence significative entre les taux de dépression des mères célibataires et mariées par région et par province au pays. Nous comparons nos résultats à d’autres données épidémiologiques relatives à la santé mentale des mères célibataires en Ontario.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Berkman P. Spouseless motherhood, psychological stress, and physical morbidity. J Health Soc Behav 1969;10:323–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Brown GW, Harris T. Social origins of depression: A study of psychiatric disorders in women. Free Press: New York, 1978.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    McLanahan SS. Family structure and stress: A longitudinal comparison of two parent and female headed families. J Marriage and Family 1985;45:347–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Brown GW, Bifulco A, Harris T, Bridge L. Life stress, chronic sub-clinical symptoms and vulnerability to clinical depression. J Affective Disorders 1986;11(1):1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Brown GW, Harris T. Aetiology of anxiety and depressive disorders in an inner-city population. Psychol Med 1993;23(1):143–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Avison WR. Roles and resources: The effects of family structure and employment on women’s psychological resources and psychological distress. Research in Community and Mental Health 1995;8:233–56.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lipman EL, Offord DR, Boyle MH. Single mothers in Ontario: Sociodemographic, physical and mental health characteristics. Can Med Assoc J 1997;156(3):639–45.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Davies L, Avison WR, McAlpine DD. Significant life experiences and depression among single and married mothers. J Marriage Family 1997;59:294–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Byrne C, Browne G, Roberts J, et al. Surviving social assistance: 12-month prevalence of depression in sole-support parents receiving social assistance. CMAJ 1998;158(7):881–88.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Weissman MM, Leaf PJ, Bruce ML. Single parent women. Soc Psychiatry 1987;22:29–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Brown GW, Moran PM. Single mothers, poverty and depression. Psychol Med 1997;27:21–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    National Population Health Survey. Public Use Microdata File User Documentation, Ottawa, 1996.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Beaudet MP. Depression. Health Rep 1996;7(4):11–22.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Wade TJ, Cairney J. Age and depression in a nationally representative sample of Canadians: A preliminary look at the National Population Health Survey. Can J Public Health 1997;88(5):297–302.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wittchen H-U, Robins LN, Cottler LB, et al. and participants in the Multicentre WHO/ADAMHA Field Trials. Cross-cultural feasibility, reliability and sources of variance in the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Br J Psychiatry 1991;159:653–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Semier G, von Cranach M, Wittchen H-U (Eds.), Comparison between the Composite International Diagnostic Interview and the Present State Examination. Report to the WHO/ADAMHA Task Force on Instrument Development. Geneva, Switzerland, February, 1987.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Janca A, Robins LN, Cottler LB, Early TS. Clinical observation of CIDI assessments: An analysis of the CIDI field trials — wave II at the St. Louis site, Br J Psychiatry 1992;160;815–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Farmer AE, Katz R, McGuffin P, Bebbington P. A comparison between the Present State Examination and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1987;44:1064–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Statistics Canada. Income Distributions by Size in Canada. Ottawa: Ministry of Supply and Services, 1980.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pearlin L. The sociological study of stress. J Health Soc Behav 1989;30:241–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pearlin L, Lieberman M, Menaghan E, Mullen Joseph T. The stress process. J Health Soc Behav 1981;22:337–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    McLanahan SS, Sandefur G. Growing Up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Avison WR. Single motherhood and mental health: Implications for primary prevention. CMAJ 1997;156(5):661–63.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Cairney
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cathy Thorpe
    • 2
  • John Rietschlin
    • 2
  • William R. Avison
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Health StudiesBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Health and Well-Being, Social Science CentreThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations