Prenatal Neighborhood Ethnocultural Context and the Mental Health of Mothers and Children in Low-Income Mexican American Families

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Abstract

Socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods increase the risk for poor mental health among residents, yet protective factors may operate alongside risk. This study evaluated the influence of the prenatal neighborhood ethnocultural context on child behavior problems and maternal depressive symptoms. Prenatal maternal role expectations, prenatal culture-specific stress, and postpartum depression (PPD) symptoms were evaluated as mediators. Participants included 322 low-income, Mexican American mother-child dyads. Women (Mage = 27.8) reported on proposed mediators, maternal depressive symptoms, and child behavior problems at 4.5 years. Neighborhood Latinx concentration was obtained from census data. Higher Latinx concentration predicted fewer maternal depressive symptoms and child behavior problems, mediated through role expectations and PPD symptoms. Results suggest prenatal neighborhood context to impact later maternal and child mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalChild development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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