During the researcher's experience as a public health nurse, she became aware of two types of depressed women. The first type is the withdrawn, weeping, self-isolating woman while the second type cited numerous physical complaints which prevented her from caring for her home and children. Both exhibited non-responsive behavior to her children's needs.

The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not low socio-economic latino mothers displaying non-responsive behavior had levels of depression different than low socio-economic latino mothers displaying responsive behavior.

Non-responsive behavior Is defined as an inability to utilize clinic services appropriately for health by exhibiting three or more of the formulated criteria.

Although many factors affect non-responsive behavior and depression among low socio-economic latino women, the literature reviewed indicated that due to latino mothers' inability to meet cultural role demands, they tended to be depressive and belittling. The literature also showed that depressed people exhibit acting out and hostile behaviors. Considering that latino mothers would not commit overt acts of aggression, it was believed that instead they would display passive aggressive non-responsive behaviors.

The null hypothesis tested was: non-responsive behavior concerning child health care among low socio-economic latino mothers is not associated with depression which was defined as having a raw score of 40 or above on the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale.

This hypothesis was tested on seventy women who lived in the East Los Angeles barrio, had one child registered at the East Los Angeles Child and Youth Clinic, and were between the ages of sixteen and forty-five. Thirty-five of the seventy women met the criteria of non-responsive behavior. The other thirty-five women were matched to the "non-responsive" women by demographic factors.

The resulting data from the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale and a brief interview regarding past illnesses were analyzed by a general linear hypothesis and an analysis of variance.

The findings indicated that the non-responsive group had more women who were depressed than the responsive group. The difference between the means was not significant. In examining the relationship of the identified variables to behavior, only the complaint of "nerves/headache" was significant to the .01 level and number of illness episodes was significant to the .05 level. A regression formula which predicted SDS values based on the sample indicated that women sixteen to twenty-five years who complained of "nerves/headaches" would have a score indicating depression. The null hypothesis, as tested was accepted.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

Ruth M. White

Second Advisor

Julie Albert

Third Advisor

P. Sherrill Baugher

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Depression -- in infancy and childhood; Maternal Health Services



Page Count

vi; 61

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives