Background: According to the WHO report released in 2000, about 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. The present study aimed to explore factors influencing depression in mothers from Rey, South of Tehran, Iran; who had elementary school children.
Methods: The cross-sectional survey was conducted in spring 2010. Four hundred thirty mothers who had elementary school children, were selected through a two stage cluster sampling. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to assess depression in the mothers and a 24-hour food recall was used to collect information regarding their dietary intake. General information regarding economic condition and socio-economic status were also gathered using a questionnaire. The data was analyzed using chi-square, one-way analysis of variance and simple regression tests.
Results: In our study, 51.4% of the mothers suffered from depression. There was an inverse correlation between the educational level of the mothers and the heads of household, their occupational status, their marital status, their socio-economic condition and depression. Conversely, any increase in the family size worsened the depression. The daily intake of different macronutrients, except for fat, was lower in individuals of depressed group.
Conclusion: The present study emphasized the fact that more attention should be paid to the educational level and economic condition of the family in order to reduce maternal depression. Family size also plays an important role in this regard.