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Health Services


Diana D. Naser


Researchers have found that postpartum depression (PPD) affects 10 to 15% of new mothers in the U.S. and minority groups experience more depressive symptoms than most of the U.S. population. In Maricopa County, Arizona, research studies of PPD suggested that Mexican women had the highest PPD rate when compared to African-American, Cuban, and Puerto-Rican women. The purpose of this qualitative interpretive descriptive study was to explore what experiences Mexican women in Maricopa County had with PPD, their perceptions of factors such as low-income, cultural beliefs, intimate partner violence, social support, and healthcare services, and to explore barriers that may prevent Mexican women in Maricopa County from receiving diagnostic care for PPD. The theoretical basis for this study was Engel's biopsychosocial model of perinatal mood. Ten Mexican women living in Maricopa County with PPD were interviewed to help gain a deeper understanding of past experience with PPD. The key findings in this study were that socioeconomic status, social support, cultural beliefs, and intimate partner violence were associated with PPD in Mexican women before and after childbearing. The participants in this study stated that lack of public transportation, illegal status, and spouse deportation to Mexico were associated with their PPD. A better understanding of these experiences with PPD could lead to policies and practices that address those women at greater risk of PPD. A social change implication of this study could be the implementation of early diagnostic testing for PPD prevention for Mexican women in Maricopa County.