Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Family Science and Human Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Pauline Garcia-Reid

Committee Member

Katia Paz Goldfarb

Committee Member

Elizabeth Rivera-Rodas


Postpartum depression (PPD) nearly doubles among immigrants. When we consider that Latinas are densely represented in the United States, the need to explore the risk and protective factors that may be associated with PPD onset among Latinas is critical. A consideration of racial discrimination, social support, and breastfeeding practices may aid in incorporating contributors that may be prevalent among Latinas. In particular, breastfeeding practices have differed by acculturation, yet there are inconclusive relations with depressive symptoms, therefore, examining the relationship with predictors may shed light on the intersection among individual, cultural, and societal factors by acculturation among Latinas. This dissertation examined the intersection of risk and protective factors with PPD and breastfeeding practices in three separate papers, with the inclusion of intersectionality and the convoy model of social networks. The first paper examined PPD risk through an intersectional lens that included the individual, cultural, and macro level contexts. The second paper, a quantitative secondary analysis using the NYC PRAMS dataset, explored the relationship between PPD, racial discrimination, and social support. Lastly, the third paper, a quantitative secondary analysis of the NYC PRAMS dataset, examined the relationship between risk and protective factors with PPD and breastfeeding practices. Outcomes for the studies reveal differences and an overlap between the risk and protective factors and their association with PPD and breastfeeding practices when considering acculturation among Latinas. The papers incorporated cultural and societal factors that are paramount within this population. Recommendations for research, practice, and policy were addressed in each of the papers.

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