OJD  Vol.7 No.1 , February 2018
Better Support Services for Better Mental Health?—The Case of Depression among Parents on Welfare
Abstract: The present study aims to investigate independent and interactive impacts of risk and protective factors influencing depression among parents receiving welfare. The study uses panel data from the first two waves of the nationally representative Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. The analytic sample included 1204 parents of children aged 4 - 5 years who participated in both of the waves and received government payments as their main income source in Wave 1. At Wave 2, twenty seven percent of all participant parents have income support as their main income source, and one-third of these parents reported having depressive symptoms during the 4 weeks prior to the interview. In hierarchical regression analysis, specific stressful events in the past 12 months (relationship breakdown, financial hardship, substance abuse, and death of a love one) have emerged as significant risk factors of depression. Parenting self-efficacy, timely access to support services and neighborhood belonging were found to be significant protective factors of depression. The most unique and key finding is that parents experiencing stressful events were less likely to report depression if they had adequate access to support services at times of adversity, and these results remain largely unchanged above and beyond the effects of the control variables. These findings have important implications for inculcating resilience in families on welfare in particular, through driving an institutional change that is responsive to ongoing and emergent needs. It is important that policy and health services delivery are designed in conjunction to provide maximum support for disadvantaged families at times of adversity.
Cite this paper: Ahmed, E. (2018) Better Support Services for Better Mental Health?—The Case of Depression among Parents on Welfare. Open Journal of Depression, 7, 1-16. doi: 10.4236/ojd.2018.71001.

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