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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Maternal depression women minority immigrant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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