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


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.


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.


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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

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