BACKGROUND: Domestic decision-making power is an integral part of women's empowerment. No study has linked domestic decision-making power and social support concurrently to postpartum depression and compared these between immigrant and native populations. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to examine domestic decision-making power and social support and their relationship to postpartum depressive symptoms among immigrant and native women in Taiwan. METHODS: This cross-sectional survey included 190 immigrant and 190 native women who had delivered healthy babies during the past year in Taipei City. Depression was measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, with a cutoff score of 10. Logistic regression was used to determine the factors associated with postpartum depression symptoms. RESULTS: Immigrant mothers had significantly higher prevalence of postpartum depression symptoms (41.1% vs. 8.4%) and had significantly lower levels of domestic decision-making power and social support than native mothers did. Logistic regression showed that insufficient family income was associated with an increased risk of postpartum depression symptoms, whereas social support and domestic decision-making power levels were associated negatively with postpartum depression symptoms. After accounting for these factors, immigrant women remained at higher risk of postpartum depression symptoms than native women did, odds ratio = 2.59, 95% CI [1.27, 5.28]. DISCUSSION: Domestic decision-making power and social support are independent protective factors for postpartum depression symptoms among immigrant and native women in Taiwan. Social support and empowerment interventions should be tested to discover whether they are able to prevent or alleviate postpartum depression symptoms, with special emphasis on immigrant mothers.
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