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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Individual and Social Context Variables Associated with U.S. Muslim Women's Postpartum Depressive Symptoms
by Mahmoodi, Venus, Ph.D., Palo Alto University, 2017, 246; 10281588
Abstract (Summary)

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a heterogeneous syndrome that is one of the most common complications of childbirth. Previous literature suggests that seven to twenty percent of U.S. women experience perinatal mood symptoms, making PPD treatment vital for the well-being of mothers and their infants. However, there is a paucity of literature focusing on the perinatal experiences of women of color, including Muslim women, which suggests further research is needed to better understand PPD in this population. The current study describes the characteristics of a convenience sample of U.S. Muslim women’s postpartum depressive symptoms and identifies associated risk and protective factors in this sample. Muslim women living in the United States (N = 261) participated in an online survey, which inquired about demographics, perinatal medical and risk factors, mental health (depression and anxiety), tolerance of ambiguity, acculturation, and gender role attitudes. Participants also provided details about religious and cultural contexts of their perinatal experiences. Data were analyzed utilizing both quantitative and qualitative approaches.

Overall, the majority of the sample was married and highly educated compared to the general U.S. Muslim population. Results showed that 28% of the sample endorsed clinical levels of depression. Across a series of multiple linear regression analyses, we noted that Islamic religiosity, tolerance of ambiguity, religious practice during pregnancy, engaging in the five daily prayers postpartum, and Tehneek predicted lower postpartum depressive symptoms. Islamic religiosity, engaging in the five daily prayers postpartum, and Tehneek also predicted life satisfaction. Finally, qualitative analyses revealed that at least some women in the sample experienced ambivalence toward some culturally specific practices in the perinatal period. Results of the current study provide a foundation for future research, which should focus on developing and assessing prevention programs, screening tools, and interventions that address the unique mental health needs of perinatal Muslim women.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Habarth, Janice
Commitee: Barrera, Alinne, Tormala, Teceta
School: Palo Alto University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Obstetrics, Womens studies, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Depression, Islam, Muslim, Postpartum, United states, Women
Publication Number: 10281588
ISBN: 978-0-355-49756-4
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