Perspectives on good mothering from low-income mothers of color with maternal depression


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

The dominant sociocultural view of “good mothering” consists of a woman who selflessly provides for and attends to all of her children’ physical, financial, social, and emotional needs. For low-income mothers of color, meeting these needs is often challenging. To date there are no known studies that have explicitly considered how “good mothering” manifests among low-income mothers of color who are dealing with ongoing maternal depression. To address this limitation, 30 low-income mothers of color who scored as depressed on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale were interviewed regarding their views on depression and their efforts to be good mothers. The themes that emerged were “caring for children,” “putting children’s needs first,” “protecting children,” “taking care of children’s daily needs,” “loving and building relationships with children,” and “focusing on children’s futures.” The themes are analyzed against the backdrop of Black feminist thought and highlight the mothers’ strengths and the need to address structural barriers resulting from race, class, and gender inequalities that impede maternal and child well-being.

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