Latina mothers, families at the core of $500,000 grant to UH

July 20, 2016

A grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work (GCSW) will support a new effort for Latina mothers and their families.

The $500,000 grant will create the Latina Maternal and Family Health Center at UH, an academic -community partnership that joins forces with community agencies to serve children and families in need. Its first project will develop a culturally responsive way to educate about and lower postpartum depression (PPD) among Latina new moms.

"Mothers are often at the core of a family unit. Her mental health status can affect family functioning," said McClain Sampson, assistant professor in the college. "Poverty, acculturation stress, cultural beliefs and stigma put Latinas at high risk for developing depression during or after pregnancy. Early screening and intervention is critical."

Sampson says a third of women diagnosed with PPD have the onset during pregnancy, and support is one of the strongest buffers. Still, Latina immigrants who experience isolation, language barriers and limited health care access are at higher risk of PPD.

"This project is meant to address that disparity," she said.

The two year project, Culturally Responsive Intervention to Improve Maternal and Child Wellbeing, targets six cities, including Houston. Latina moms and their families first will be recruited to participate in a focus group to assess what they know and believe about postpartum depression. This group will learn about Sampson's current research and intervention project called PST4PPD--Problem Solving Tools for Postpartum Depression--which may be updated based on the group's feedback. Then community health care workers, over the course of five sessions and follow-ups, will deliver that home-based intervention to Latina moms who show signs of postpartum depression.

"These sessions will be about problem solving, so that moms can be pro-active," Sampson said. "As long as I've been studying maternal depression, a key element we don't really address is how low mothers' self-efficacy can get. Even when you're not dealing with depression, it's a time of great doubt. It's a huge responsibility, even if you 'have it all.' I wanted to target her feeling better about her being able to handle things."

The project marks an important partnership between academics and community agencies, working together to target community issues. The two-year project also serves as an avenue to maintain ties to communities over time, so that the new center stays in tune with community needs.

"The issues we work with, we have to be accessing the community as experts. It's disrespectful not to," she said.

University of Houston

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to