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Mental Health and Wealth: Depression, Gender, Poverty, and Parenting
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology  (IF18.561),  Pub Date : 2021-05-07, DOI: 10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-071219-022710
Megan V. Smith, Carolyn M. Mazure

Depression is a common and debilitating condition that adversely affects functioning and the capacity to work and establish economic stability. Women are disproportionately burdened by depression, and low-income pregnant and parenting women have particularly high rates of depression and often lack access to treatment. As depression can be treated, it is a modifiable risk factor for poor economic outcomes for women, and thus for children and families. Recent national and state health care policy changes offer the opportunity for community-based psychological and economic interventions that can reduce the number of pregnant and parenting women with clinically significant depressive symptoms. Moreover, there is strong evidence that in addition to benefiting women's well-being, such reforms bolster children's emotional and social development and learning and help families rise out of poverty. This review summarizes the mental health and economic literature regarding how maternal depression perpetuates intergenerational poverty and discusses recommendations regarding policies to treat maternal depression in large-scale social services systems.