Association between maternal and child mental health among US Latinos: variation by nativity, ethnic subgroup, and time in the USA
Few studies have examined the association between maternal and youth mental health among US Latinos, or its variation by nativity, country of origin, ethnic subgroup, and time in the mainland US. Using 2007–2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data linking Latino youth (N = 15,686 aged 5–17 years) and their mothers, we estimated multivariate models of the relationship between probable maternal mental illness (a composite of measures) and youth mental health impairment (Columbia Impairment Scale). Children of mothers with probable mental illness were more than three times as likely to have impairment as children of mothers without mental illness (p < 0.01). In adjusted models, there was an 8.5-point (95% CI 5.1, 11.8) increased prevalence of child impairment associated with mother’s probable mental illness among mainland US–born youth and mothers and a 6.0-point (95% CI 3.7, 8.3) increased prevalence among US-born youth of foreign/island-born mothers. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of youth impairment associated with maternal mental illness when both youth and mother were born outside of the mainland US. For the Puerto Rican subgroup, the association between maternal and youth mental health was greatest among island-born mothers and mainland US–born youth; for the Mexican subgroup, the link was strongest among US-born mothers and youth. While there were large point differences between those groups, the difference was not statistically significant. This study suggests a protective effect of island/foreign-born nativity on symptom association between Latino mothers and children. Considerations for future research and practice stemming from this finding are discussed.
Archives of Women's Mental Health
Platt, Rheanna; Weiss-Laxer, Nomi S.; Creedon, Timothy B.; Roman, Maria Jose Sanchez; Cardemil, Esteban V.; and Cook, Benjamin, "Association between maternal and child mental health among US Latinos: variation by nativity, ethnic subgroup, and time in the USA" (2020). Psychology. 208.