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    Biopsychosocial Correlates of Psychological Distress in Latina Mothers

    Santos, Hudson P, Adynski, Harry, Harris, Rebeca, Bhattacharya, Arjun, Incollingo-Rodriguez, Angela, Cali, Ryan, Yabar, Alessandra Torres, Nephew, Benjamin C and Murgatroyd, Christopher ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6885-7794 (2021) Biopsychosocial Correlates of Psychological Distress in Latina Mothers. Journal of Affective Disorders, 282. pp. 617-626. ISSN 0165-0327

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    Background Few studies have explored the relationship between psychological, psychosocial and biological factors among Latinas. An integrated understanding of how these factors associate with psychological distress is necessary for development of culturally relevant screening tools and interventions. This study aim was to examine the relationships among (a) psychological distress symptoms, (b) psychosocial factors (discrimination, acculturation, acculturative stress, economic hardship), and (c) biological (DNA methylation of stress-related genes) factors among Latinas during pregnancy and postpartum period. Methods A sample of 150 pregnant Latinas completed the Inventory of Depression and Anxiety Symptoms II (IDAS-II), psychosocial questionnaires (discrimination, acculturation, acculturative stress, economic hardship) before (24-32 weeks) and after gestation (4-6 weeks postpartum). Blood sample was collected at 24-32 weeks' gestation. Correlations were determined between psychosocial and biological measures on psychological distress measures. Multivariable linear regression models were conducted to assess the linear relationship between IDAS and stressors. Results Several correlations among psychosocial measures and gene methylation factors and IDAS-II variables were identified. Among the psychosocial measures, everyday discrimination was the most strongly and consistently associated with IDAS-II. DNA methylation of NR3C1 affects the associations between psychological and psychosocial distress. Limitations We only assessed DNA methylation during pregnancy and focused on four HPA-related genes. Longitudinal assessment of DNA methylation and genome-wide analysis can provide a better picture of the role of methylation in psychological distress. Conclusions This work may assist clinicians and policy makers in effectively recognizing and preventing maternal mental health disparities based on discrimination and other psychosocial stressors in at-risk groups.

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