With Dr. Lori E. Ross at the University of Toronto, Dr. Goldberg recently completed a NIH-funded study entitled “Postpartum Mental Health Among Visible and Invisible Sexual Minority Women.” Postpartum depression is a significant health issue for women and their families, yet research has focused almost exclusively on heterosexual married women. Sexual minority mothers may have distinct risk factors for postpartum depression. For example, experiences of discrimination have been associated with mental health outcomes in the general LGBTQ community. Yet no studies have evaluated the impact of “minority stress” on the mental health of LBQ women during the first postpartum year, a time of particular vulnerability to depression. While a very small body of research has focused on mental health in new LBQ moms, these studies focus specifically on visible sexual minority women: women who identify as lesbian or bisexual and who are partnered with other women. A pilot study by Goldberg and Ross indicated that invisible sexual minority women (i.e., women who have a history of sexual relationships with women, but who are currently partnered with men) are at elevated risk for postpartum depression, compared to visible sexual minority women and heterosexual women. This study aimed to build upon this work and understand these differences.
Goldberg and Ross’s recently-completed multi-site, mixed-methods, longitudinal study focused on women who were recruited during pregnancy (i.e., visible sexual minority, invisible sexual minority, and heterosexual women). The findings have implications for policy development and service delivery to visible and invisible sexual minority mothers.
For information about study findings, please visit the study website, Queering Parenthood.
For an early article (5/8/13) about the study in GoLocalWorcester, click here.
For a New England Psychologist article about the study, click here.
For the final newsletter from the study, which contains preliminary findings, click here: Final Newsletter.