Acculturation, Spiritual/Religious, and Psychosocial Factors and Maternal-Infant Outcomes among Latina Mothers

Monday, 18 November 2013: 3:35 PM

Safiya George Dalmida, PhD, APRN-BC
Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Latinas face many disadvantages, yet have favorable birth outcomes at rates comparable to national averages. This study examined relationships among acculturation, spiritual/religious and psychosocial factors and maternal-infant outcomes among Latina mothers. Setting/sample: Adult Latinas who were 28-40 weeks pregnant were recruited from 6 community clinics. Sixty-nine women completed interviews. Mean age was 27.3±5.5 years. Majority were Mexican (71.4%, n=50), unemployed (78.6%; n=55), and had annual incomes<$20,000 (70.1%, n=49). Almost half (45.7%, n=32) were single.  Majority were Catholic (68.6%; n=48) and identified as being “very” or “moderately” religious (65.2%, n=45) or spiritual (72.5%, n=50). Mean delivery was at 39.6±1.1 weeks and mean infant birth weight (IBW) was 7.0±1.0 pounds (3370.4±348.1 grams). Results: Acculturation positively correlated with self-esteem (r=.37,p=.046) and physical HRQOL (r=.41,p=.022). Spirituality/religiousness positively correlated with social support (r=.32; p=.008), GWD (r=.31; p=.014) and IBW (r=.32; p=.010) and HRQOL dimensions: general health (r=.34; p=.004) and emotional wellbeing (EWB) (r=.35; p=.003). Spirituality inversely associated with stress (r=.26; p=.03) and depression (r=.29; p=.018). Religious faith positively correlated with EWB (r=.56; p=.015) and social support (r=.26; p=.029) and inversely correlated with depression (r=-.26; p=.034).  GWD positively correlated with social functioning HRQOL (r=.25; p=.04) and IBW inversely associated with self-esteem social support (r=–.25; p=.044). There were significant differences between less/more acculturated Latinas in weeks of prenatal care, HRQOL, depressive symptoms, and tangible social support. Spirituality significantly explained: 6.1% unique/additional variance (p=.04) in GWD than social functioning and sociodemographics covariates and 9.4% unique variance (p=.014) in IBW beyond self-esteem social support and sociodemographics covariates. Discussion/Conclusions:  These findings highlight the importance of acculturation and spirituality/religiosity among Latina mothers and their association with psychosocial factors, birth outcomes and HRQOL. Implications for Practice: Spiritual and psychosocial factors should be routinely assessed/included, as appropriate, during prenatal/postpartum care. Nurses should also collaborate with chaplains/clergy/social workers to discuss/address patients’ spiritual/religious/acculturation needs.