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Health Psychol. 2000 Nov;19(6):576-85.

Stress, psychosocial resources, and depressive symptomatology during pregnancy in low-income, inner-city women.

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Department of Sociology, Kent State University, Ohio 44242, USA.


The authors examined the prospective influence of stress, self-esteem, and social support on the postpartum depressive symptoms of 191 inner-city women (139 European Americans and 52 African Americans) over 3 waves of data collection. Depressive symptomatology was measured by multiple indicators, including self-report and clinical scales. Women became less depressed as they move from prenatal to postpartum stages and adjusted to their pregnancy and its consequences. LISREL and regression analyses indicated that stress was related to increased depression, whereas greater income and social support were related to decreased depression. Self-esteem was related to lower depression at the prenatal and postpartum periods but not to change in depression from the prenatal to the postpartum period. The results also indicated that self-esteem and social support did not have additional stress-buffering effects over and above their direct effects on depression. Finally, African American women did not differ from European American women terms of depression or in terms of how they were impacted by stress or psychosocial resources.

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