In this study, similarities and differences in perinatal experiences between women with low socioeconomic status (SES) by race, ethnicity, and nativity were explored. The objective was to better understand the sociocultural and environmental contexts of perinatal experiences and potential implications for screening and assessment among women with low SES. A purposive stratified sample of 32 women who were likely to be screened for perinatal depression participated in four focus groups organized by African American, white, Hmong, or Latina race or ethnicity. A descriptive study design was used to collect and evaluate focus-group data using qualitative content analysis. Women understood their perinatal experiences through the stressors in their environment. The stressors of insufficient socioeconomic resources and interpersonal support were relatively consistent across the focus groups. However, women's understanding of these stressors and their meaning differed between groups. Racially and ethnically diverse women with low SES experienced a complex interaction of sociocultural and environmental factors in the perinatal period. The findings highlight the need for health and social work practitioners to conduct depression screenings in conjunction with a comprehensive psychosocial assessment, informed by cultural competence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)