How Poverty Affects Mothers’ Anxiety
Mothers whoِ live inِ poverty areِ more likelyِ than othersِ to haveِ symptoms ofِ the mental disorder anxiety, butِ this isِ becauseِ of theirِ socioeconomic issues, notِ becauseِ of actual psychiatric issues, according toِ a newِ study.
The researchers surveyed nearlyِ 5,000 parents andِ found thatِ mothers whoِ received free food orِ hadِ a difficult time paying theirِ utility bills wereِ nearlyِ 2.5 times moreِ likelyِ to haveِ symptoms thatِ would warrant a diagnosis ofِ generalized anxiety disorder, compared withِ thoseِ who saidِ they hadِ no trouble paying theirِ bills.
There areِ certain thingsِ thatِ happen toِ people inِ life thatِ causeِ people toِ haveِ reactions, saidِ lead researcher Judith Baer, a professor atِ Rutgers University.
Assessing anxiety levels
The findings areِ in line withِ previous studies thatِ suggest thatِ impoverished women haveِ higher-than-average anxiety levels, theِ researchers said.
The researchers usedِ data gathered duringِ the Fragile Families andِ Child Wellbeing Study, inِ which 2,338 mothers responded toِ surveys andِ interviews periodically, andِ underwent home observations whenِ theirِ children wereِ 3 years old.
andِ 58 percent wereِ atِ or belowِ the poverty line.
A problematic diagnosis
The book thatِ health care professionals useِ toِ helpِ diagnose mental health conditions isِ the Diagnostic andِ Statistical Manual ofِ Mental Disorders.
The researchers saidِ the book’s descriptions takeِ onlyِ a person’s symptoms intoِ account, notِ other factors suchِ asِ socioeconomic status.
It wouldِ beِ particularly problematic forِ a woman whoِ doesِ not trulyِ haveِ anxiety toِ beِ treated withِ medication, Baer said.
The study was published July 20in the journal Child and Adolescent Social Work.
This story wasِ providedِ byِ MyHealthNewsDaily, a sister site toِ LiveScience.
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