Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 12, Issue 6, pp 699–707 | Cite as

Postpartum Depression: Racial Differences and Ethnic Disparities in a Tri-racial and Bi-ethnic Population

  • Guo Wei
  • Linda B. Greaver
  • Stephen M. Marson
  • Cynthia H. Herndon
  • James Rogers
  • Robeson Healthcare Corporation
Article

Abstract

Objectives This research investigated the differences and disparities of postpartum depression in a sample of African American, Hispanic, Native American, and White women. Methods A sample of 586 women were administered the Beck-Gable PDSS at 6-weeks postpartum. Factor analysis was applied to analyze the similarities among African American, Hispanic, Native American, and White participants. Confidence intervals of the rates of depression by group were estimated, followed by statistical tests to determine the differences among these rates. Risk assessment was performed with factor analysis and correlation methods. Results Hispanic women had a remarkably lower depression rate (2.5%) than other groups (P-values < 0.05). Significant differences for major depression were not found among African American, Native American, and White women; but Whites had higher minor depression (P-values < 0.05). Native American women had the highest rate of major depression (18.7%) and an average minor depression (10.5%). Although Whites had the second highest major depression (17.6%) and the highest minor depression (19.6%), their average full score (76.1) was noticeably lower than that of Native Americans (82.9) and slightly lower than that of African Americans (78.9; major and minor depression rates: 14.8% and 9.9%). The sample also demonstrated strong associations of depression with depression history and breastfeeding. Conclusion Statistically, postpartum depression can be ranked from high to low as Native Americans, Whites, African Americans and Hispanics (Hispanics have remarkably lower depression rates). This information is critically important to clinicians, researchers, agency administrators and social workers who work with these populations.

Keywords

Postpartum depression Racial-ethnic prevalence and disparities Factor analysis Correlation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guo Wei
    • 1
  • Linda B. Greaver
    • 2
  • Stephen M. Marson
    • 3
  • Cynthia H. Herndon
    • 4
  • James Rogers
    • 2
  • Robeson Healthcare Corporation
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceUniversity of North Carolina at PembrokePembrokeUSA
  2. 2.Regional Center for Economic, Community and Professional DevelopmentUniversity of North Carolina at PembrokePembrokeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Social WorkUniversity of North Carolina at PembrokePembrokeUSA
  4. 4.Department of NursingUniversity of North Carolina at PembrokePembrokeUSA
  5. 5.Perinatal ProgramsRobeson Healthcare CorporationFairmontUSA

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