Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Sarah Enos Watamura

Second Advisor

Lisa Martinez

Third Advisor

Erika Manczak

Fourth Advisor

Julia Dmitrieva

Keywords

Parenthood, Latina mothers, Mental health

Abstract

Parenthood can increase the risk for mental health concerns, especially for Latina mothers. Poor maternal mental health can result in significant negative maternal and child outcomes, particularly if a mother’s mental health needs go unmet. In an attempt to better understand the factors that impact Latina mother’s mental health, this study explored the relations among parental self-efficacy, parenting stress, and mental health. It also explored mother’s self-reported resource availability and sociocultural factors as potential modifiable points of interventions in these relations.

Methods: The study was conducted using data from 132 Latina mothers that participated in a larger project examining stress and family factors among Early Head Start (EHS) families. Mental health was assessed via the CES-D and the GAD-7. Parenting stress was measured with the use of the PSI-SF while parental self-efficacy was assessed with the PSOC. Composite variables were created reflecting self-reported resource availability. Sociocultural factor information was collected from the VIA and study specific questionnaires. Regression models were used to explore the relations of interest.

Results: Approximately 30.20% of mothers met criteria for at least one clinically significant symptoms, indicating that Latina mothers in this sample were at an increased risk for these mental health concerns than the general population (10-20%). Greater parenting stress related to a mother’s satisfaction with her interactions with her child was significantly related to increased maternal mental health risk. Parenting stress related to a mother’s perception of how difficult her child is to care for was also significantly related to an increased probability that the mother would experience clinically significant anxiety symptoms. Parental self-efficacy was not, however, found to be significantly related to maternal mental health. Analyses into maternal resources as potential risk and/or resilience mechanisms revealed that mothers with higher self-reported material resources were at an decreased risk for diminished maternal mental health. Self-reported psychosocial resources, however, were not related to maternal mental health. Lastly, mothers with perceived upward mobility following immigration, those with a greater language preference for Spanish, and those with lower acculturation levels were at a decreased risk for negative mental health outcomes.

Conclusions: Results of this study demonstrated that motherhood-related factors may negatively impact Latina mothers’ mental health, and that self-reported material resources and sociocultural factors may influence risk in these relations. In doing so, the current study yielded important information that is necessary for informing healthcare best practices, identifying modifiable targets for future interventions, and improving health outcomes for Latinx families.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Provenance

Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Thania Galvan

File size

137 pgs

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Clinical psychology

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