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Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 127–133 | Cite as

Depression among Low-Income Women of Color: Qualitative Findings from Cross-Cultural Focus Groups

  • Katherine J. Lazear
  • Sheila A. Pires
  • Mareasa R. Isaacs
  • Patrick Chaulk
  • Larke Huang
Original Paper

Abstract

This article describes the experiences with depression of women with young children living in ethnically and culturally diverse, low-income communities. A qualitative ethnographic design using a focus group process was implemented in 15 communities. Despite great diversity in ethnic and cultural backgrounds, these women of color reported similar experiences with depression and described: a range of social risk factors, including domestic violence, isolation, language barriers, and difficulties with schools and other public systems; lack of access to high quality, culturally competent health and mental health services; reliance primarily on informal systems of care—relatives, friends, peers—in dealing with their depression, although many also reported good relationships with primary care practitioners. They identified: the specialty mental health sector as one to which they seldom turned for assistance, citing stigma, lack of insurance coverage, cultural beliefs, and attitudes of providers as barriers; a number of strategies for outreach and engagement with mental health providers; qualitative measures of maternal depression among women with young children; and, strategies for reaching and engaging culturally diverse mothers.

Keywords

Maternal depression women minority immigrant 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine J. Lazear
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sheila A. Pires
    • 2
  • Mareasa R. Isaacs
    • 3
  • Patrick Chaulk
    • 4
  • Larke Huang
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Child and Family StudiesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Human Service CollaborativeWashingtonUSA
  3. 3.School of Social WorkHoward UniversityWashingtonUSA
  4. 4.Annie E. Casey FoundationBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.American Institutes for ResearchWashingtonUSA

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