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Racial disparities in perceived social support and social service use: Associations with maternal depression and Head Start participation

Using the Head Start Impact Study data, this study examined racial disparities in maternal perceptions of social support and social service receipt, and their associations with depression. Associations between Head Start participation and these variables were also studied. A total of 3,269 mothers were included (n=971 Black, 1,086 Hispanic, and 1,212 White). Compared to White mothers, Hispanic mothers indicated perceiving less assistance from social supports. Black and Hispanic mothers were less likely to use social services and reported lower levels of depression than White mothers. Head Start mothers perceived more helpfulness from social supports than non-Head Start mothers. Head Start, however, was not associated with social service use or maternal depression. Results suggest Head Start participation may be related to greater ability to reap benefits from relationships with friends and family among low-income mothers. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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