Social determinants of perinatal mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kodi Endres, Katherine Haigler, Marissa Sbrilli, Sona Jasani, Heidemarie Laurent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: We sought to clarify relevant social-structural determinants of perinatal mental health—material and social resources, as well as pandemic employment-related stressors, in White and BIPOC child-bearers—toward building comprehensive risk screening and prevention/intervention models that can alleviate health disparities. Each of these determinants was hypothesized to contribute to perinatal symptoms in ways that disproportionately benefit White child-bearers. Method: A community sample of Illinois child-bearers (n = 409 pregnant, 122 new parents) completed online questionnaires from May 2020–June 2021. Relations between composite measures of child-bearers' material resources, social resources, and pandemic employment-related stressors and mental health symptoms were tested in multiple regression models. Main effects of social determinant composites and moderated effects by race/ethnic identification were tested. Results: All social determinants displayed significant unique associations with mental health in the sample, with social resources carrying the greatest weight. Although no moderated effects of composite resource measures were found, the relation between pandemic employment-related reduced resources and symptoms proved stronger in BIPOC compared to White child-bearers. Conclusions: Both stable social-structural determinants and acute crisis-related shifts contribute to perinatal mental health, with higher levels and/or impacts of resources helping to explain racial/ethnic disparities. These findings can inform more comprehensive screening and prevention protocols and policy recommendations that improve perinatal health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-43
Number of pages5
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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