Maternal Depression, Changing Public Assistance, Food Security and Child Health Status

This article investigates the association of a positive report on a maternal depression screen (PDS) with loss or reduction of welfare support and food stamps, household insecurity, and child health measures among children aged ≤36 months.  In a sample of 5,306 mothers, those with PDS were more likely to report fair/poor child health, hospitalizations during the child’s lifetime, decreased welfare support, to have lost food stamps, and more household food insecurity than mothers without PDS. Child health providers and policy makers should be aware of the potential impact of maternal depression on child health in the context of welfare reform.