The longitudinal relationships among poverty, material hardship, and maternal depression in the USA: a latent growth mediation model

Xiaoyan Zhang, Ying Zhang, Sara A. Vasilenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aims to understand the direct and indirect effects of poverty trajectories on maternal depression trajectories mediated by material hardship trajectories. A latent growth mediation model was tested using a predominantly low-income and mostly unmarried sample of mothers from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a national birth cohort of racially diverse mothers (N = 3999). Measures included family poverty, material hardship, and maternal depression from 5 waves of data which tracked mothers starting 1 year after childbirth until the child reached 15 years of age. The results revealed that (1) family poverty was associated with material hardship and maternal depression, and material hardship was related to maternal depression at the trajectory level and the rate of change, with the exception of the relationships between the rate of change in family poverty and the rate of change in maternal depression; (2) material hardship mediated the relationship between family poverty and maternal depression at the initial trajectory levels, and the rate of change in material hardship fully mediated the relationship between the rate of change in poverty and the rate of change in maternal depression. This study provides further evidence that alleviating material hardship might be a promising avenue to reducing maternal depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-770
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Women's Mental Health
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Fragile families
  • Latent growth curve models
  • Material hardship
  • Maternal depression
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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