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Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 1998 Oct;33(10):483-90.

Postnatal depression and social supports in Vietnamese, Arabic and Anglo-Celtic mothers.

Author information

1
Paediatric Mental Health Service, South West Sydney Health Service, Liverpool NSW, Australia.

Abstract

The significance of a western woman's social supports to postnatal depression is well documented. We examine which deficits in components of their social support network are associated with postnatal depression in women from a non-English-speaking background. The social support network and postnatal mood of 105 Anglo-Celtic, 113 Vietnamese and 98 Arabic women were assessed at 6 weeks postpartum. The role of social supports in determining scores on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was analysed using multiple regressions. For Anglo-Celtic women, low postnatal mood was associated with perceived need for more emotional support from partners and mothers. For Vietnamese women, low postnatal mood was associated with poor quality of relationship with the partner and a perceived need for more practical help from him. For Arabic women, low postnatal mood was associated with perceived need for more emotional support from partners. We conclude that cultural factors mediate the relation between social supports and postnatal depression more likely to become clinically depressed (Lovestone and Kumar 1993) and infants may have adverse cognitive, behavioural and emotional outcomes, which can be linked to the postnatal depression (Murray and Cooper 1996).

PIP:

Studies of mothers in industrialized societies have suggested that deficiencies in personal social support systems precede the development of postnatal depression. The determinants of postpartum depression for non-English-speaking background mothers were investigated in a study of Anglo-Celtic, Vietnamese, and Arabic mothers recruited from antenatal clinics in South Western Sydney, Australia. 60% of Vietnamese and 43% of Arabic women had ben living in Australia for less than 3 years. The seven social support variables were wanting more practical support from one's partner or from another person; wanting more emotional support from one's mother, one's partner, or another person; and the quality of the relationship with one's partner and one's mother. In general, Vietnamese women reported a poorer quality of relationship with their partners than the two other groups, while Arabic women reported better quality relationships with their mothers. The associations between the support variables and scores on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 6 weeks postpartum were examined in three multiple linear regression analyses. For Anglo-Celtic mothers, two variables--wanting more emotional support from one's partner and from one's mother--accounted for 25% of the observed variance in EPDS scores. Poor quality of the relationship with one's partner and wanting more practical support from one's partner explained 34% of the variance in EPDS scores for Vietnamese mothers. For Arabic mothers, wanting more emotional support from one's mother was the only significant predictor of the EPDS score and this accounted for 5% of the variance. Overall, these findings indicate that cultural factors mediate the relation between social supports and postnatal depression.

PMID:
9780811
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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