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Arch Womens Ment Health. 2018 Oct 25. doi: 10.1007/s00737-018-0920-4. [Epub ahead of print]

A systematic review of cultural orientation and perinatal depression in Latina women: are acculturation, Marianismo, and religiosity risks or protective factors?

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College of Applied Health Sciences, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1206 S. Fourth Street, Champaign, IL, USA.
Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA.
Family Resiliency Center, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 904 W. Nevada St., Urbana, USA.


Latinas in the USA and Spanish-speaking countries experience elevated rates of perinatal depression (PND) because of high psychosocial stressors. Latinas are heterogeneous and have varying cultural practices. It is unclear whether specific cultural orientations have differential risks for PND. This systematic review aimed to determine whether degree of acculturation, Marianismo, and religiosity are risks or protective factors for PND in Latina women living in the USA, Latin America, and other countries. The review included PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, Academic Search Ultimate (EBSCO), and Social Services Abstracts, and used Boolean combined keywords. English and Spanish language articles were considered. The review was conducted between July 2017 and February 2018, with no boundaries on publication dates. Ten studies were selected for inclusion. Of those, two studies were conducted in Mexico and most studies conducted in the USA included women of Mexican descent. Degree of acculturation (adoption of mainstream values) was inconsistently directly associated with PND; evidence suggest indirect associations. Marianismo, the traditional female role of virtue, passivity, and priority of others over oneself, was inconsistently correlated with risk for depression in pregnancy, but significantly and indirectly associated with postpartum depression. Two of three studies found religiosity to be protective postpartum. Further research on protective and risk factors of specific cultural orientations, particularly degree of acculturation and Marianismo, for PND in Latinas in the USA and abroad is needed. Attention to specific perinatal periods is necessary given the inconsistent findings.


Acculturation; Depression; Latina; Marianismo; Perinatal; Religion


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