Poverty and Adolescent Mental Health: The Role of Maternal Psychological Resources

Bridget J. Goosby, University of Michigan

Limited research has been conducted assessing maternal depression and mastery as predictors of adolescent mental health. Much focus has been targeted towards the familial context among young children. This study seeks to assess the impact of maternal psychological well-being on the depression and anxiety levels and social withdrawal in a sample of young adolescents between the ages of 10 and 14 (N=1265). Analyses using structural equation modeling find that the effects of experiencing poverty on adolescent outcomes are mediated by maternal depression and sense of mastery. When maternal mastery and depression are regressed on poverty and background characteristics, being in poverty is the strongest predictor of maternal psychological well-being.

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Presented in Session 27: The Demography of Mental Health