Dawn Browder, Kimberly Greder and Sedahlia Jasper Crase
As the Latino population across the United States has rapidly grown, so has the prevalence of poverty and food insecurity, both of which compromise mental health. This study interviewed 103 Latina immigrant mothers living in rural communities in four states annually over three years to identify individual and family level factors that influenced maternal depression. Findings revealed that mothers who consistently had low depression scores had a higher participation rate in the National School Lunch Program and were more food secure than mothers who consistently had high depression scores. Mothers who consistently had low depression scores more commonly reported supportive relationships with their spouses or partners and families of origin, less financial stress, and performed fewer roles than mothers who consistently had high depression scores. Implications related to screening for depressive symptoms, strengthening strained Latino immigrant couple relationships, and implementing policies to ensure livable wages and access to health care are identified in this paper.