Postpartum depression in immigrant Hispanic women: A comparative community sample


immigrant, Hispanic, women, depression, postpartum depression, community


Purpose: To determine whether a high rate of postpartum depression (PPD), previously found in immigrant Hispanic women at a community clinic, would also be found in a community sample.

Data sources: Sixty women from local community settings were given the PPDS‐S instrument and the General Acculturation Index to screen for PPD symptoms. Data were then compared with previously published community clinic data.

Conclusion: Sixty percent of the immigrant Hispanic women showed significant PPD. The only statistically significant positive predictive factor for increased PPD symptoms was having a previous history of depression. In addition, 54% had an elevated symptom content profile score for suicidal thinking.

Implications for practice: Health practitioners should be aware of a potentially high rate of PPD in this population, especially in light of previously studied increased rates of suicide attempts in Latinas. If a prior history of depression is predictive of PPD, it is possible that many of the mothers in our sample suffered from depression prior to the postpartum period, but were not appropriately diagnosed or treated. Recommendations for outreach and further research are discussed. In particular, further research regarding the prenatal prevalence of depression in immigrant Hispanic women is recommended in order to further understand the high incidence of PPD.

Original Publication Citation

Shellman, L.**, Beckstrand, R. L., Callister, L. C., Luthy, K. E., & Freeborn, D. (2014). Postpartum depression in immigrant Hispanic women: A comparative community sample. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 26(9), 488-497.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners





University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor