The relationship between maternal and child mental health in Mexican immigrant families.

Diane B. McNaughton, Julia Muennich Cowell, Deborah Gross, Louis Fogg, Sarah H. Ailey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Depression is a leading cause of disability in the United States, with Mexican immigrant women reporting depression rates higher than the national average. The purposes of this study were to describe mental health symptoms in a sample (n = 182) of Mexican immigrant mothers and their relationships to child mental health, family functioning, and acculturation. Over one third of the mothers reported depression and anxiety symptoms above standardized cutoffs while 31% of the children scored in the depressed range. Of those children with high depression scores, 51% also had a mother with high depression and anxiety scores. Boys' depression scores were related to maternal reports of family functioning and stress, while girls' depression scores were related to maternal reports of depression, anxiety, and stress. Maternal mental health symptoms were associated with family functioning but not with acculturation. These data indicate that poorer maternal mental health and family functioning is associated with greater stress in Mexican immigrant children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-242
Number of pages14
JournalResearch and Theory for Nursing Practice
Volume18
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory

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