Acculturation may be a predictor of psychological birth trauma adolescent Latina moms

September 28, 2017, University of Texas at Arlington

Acculturation may play a key role in psychological birth trauma among young Latina mothers, according to a study by a researcher at the University of Texas at Arlington's College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

But the relationship between psychological birth and acculturation, a process in which one culture overshadows another, among Hispanic adolescent mothers is largely unexplored and that needs to change in light of the state's rapidly changing racial and ethnic demographics, said Cheryl Anderson, a UTA associate professor of nursing. Psychological birth trauma is a form of mental or emotional distress suffered by some mothers following childbirth.

In the study, which was published in the July edition of the journal Hispanic Health Care International, Anderson observed a sample of 66 Hispanic females between 13 and 19. Most of them were either first or second generation Americans. Anderson noted that lack of support and depression have been associated with psychological birth trauma for both adolescents and adults. Age has also been associated with higher risks for PTSD. Compared to some other ethnic groups, young Latinas are more likely to have some form of support from other women, particularly during childbirth. Anderson believes that for this reason, there may be additional factors that contribute to psychological trauma in this .

But given the relatively large number of births by younger Latinas, Anderson said, more research needs to be done to determine if acculturation is a risk factor than contributes to a more traumatic birth experience.

The article was co-written by Sarah Strickland, a registered nurse who served as Anderson's graduate assistant.

Hispanics, the largest ethnic group in the United States, make up approximately 15 percent of the population. More than half of them reside in Florida, California or Texas and about half of married Hispanic households in the United States include children who are 18 or younger, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In general, birthrates for young Latinas are higher than that of any other group: 38 out of 1000 compared to 23 in 1000 for the rest of the population. But no research exists on the link between acculturation and psychological birth trauma, said Anderson.

Anderson's study is an example of UTA's commitment to conducting high impact research and developing diagnostic, prognostic and technological advancements that will help people live longer, healthier and happier lives.

"There's less literature on childbearing minorities than on whites. It's imperative for us as Texans to know that," she said. "We have a high population of Hispanics. This has practice implications for healthcare providers in this state, especially those in border towns with higher Hispanic populations. We need to have more research that looks at acculturation as it relates to the birth experience."

Anne Bavier, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, called the study an important building block in tackling issues among some . Health and the Human Condition is one of the four pillars of UTA's Strategic Plan 2020 Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

"We can't have a healthy, vibrant state or nation if the health care needs of a significant percentage of our population are not thoroughly understood," said Bavier. "Cheryl has spent nearly a decade studying birth trauma and PTSD among young mothers. But this study is particularly remarkable because it views this subject through the acculturation lens."

Explore further: How children inherit discrimination's effects

Related Stories

How children inherit discrimination's effects

October 11, 2016
When a child's family members experience stress related to ethnic discrimination and the process of adapting to a new culture, the child's behavior and academics may suffer as a result, according to a new study.

Minority colorectal cancer patients report higher burden of poor quality-of-life

March 27, 2017
A study of racial disparities in health-related quality of life of colorectal cancer patients revealed among several findings, that Hispanics and blacks had a higher burden of poor health-related quality-of-life (HR-QoL) ...

Epidemiologists call for more visibility of Arab Americans and their health issues

April 18, 2017
A group of epidemiologists are advocating for the increased visibility of, and focus on, Arab Americans in discussions about mental and physical health issues in the U.S., in an article published in the American Journal of ...

Sexual risk behaviors of Hispanic youth vary by language, place of birth

September 3, 2014
A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health finds that the sexual risk behaviors of young Hispanic people living in the U.S. vary considerably with their degree of acculturation (as defined by where they were born and ...

Recommended for you

New study questions use of talking therapy as a treatment for schizophrenia

July 20, 2018
The findings of the first meta-analysis examining the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis (CBTp) on improving the quality of life and functioning and reducing distress of people diagnosed with schizophrenia ...

Perfectionism in young children may indicate OCD risk

July 19, 2018
Studying young children, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that kids who possess tendencies toward perfectionism and excessive self-control are twice as likely as other children to ...

Younger children tend to make more informed decisions

July 19, 2018
A new study from the University of Waterloo has found that in some ways, the older you get the worse your decision making becomes.

Finding well-being through an aerial, as opposed to ground-level, view of time

July 19, 2018
Do today and yesterday and tomorrow loom large in your thinking, with the more distant past and future barely visible on the horizon? That's not unusual in today's time-pressed world—and it seems a recipe for angst.

Are you prone to feeling guilty? Then you're probably more trustworthy, study shows

July 19, 2018
It turns out your mother was right: guilt is a powerful motivator.

Using an electronic device counteracts benefits of taking a break in nature, researchers find

July 19, 2018
Being in nature helps restore your brain's ability to focus attention on a task. But if you are checking social media on your phone or answering emails on your laptop – even if you are doing so while surrounded by trees ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.