Supports, stressors, and depressive symptoms in low-income mothers of young children

Am J Public Health. 1985 May;75(5):518-22. doi: 10.2105/ajph.75.5.518.


We investigated the association of social supports and stresses with depressive symptoms in a sample of 111 predominantly low-income mothers of young children. The prevalence of high depressive symptoms, as measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies--Depression Scale (CES-D), was 48 per cent. Among unmarried women, everyday stressors were strongly associated with depressive symptoms, while life events were weakly related. Associations between these variables were not found for married women. Comparing the relative importance of two different types of support--the quality of primary intimate relationships, and the social network--only the quality of the husband-intimate relationship was associated with CES-D scores among married women, whereas the social network demonstrated a moderate, inverse association with CES-D scores among unemployed women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Marriage
  • Mothers*
  • North Carolina
  • Poverty*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological