OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare the prevalence and risk factors of postpartum depression in Taiwan and mainland China. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 512 mothers during the 6th postpartum week were recruited by means of convenience sampling from Kaohsiung City and Pingtung County aboriginal tribes in Taiwan and Fuzhou City in China. Five self-report instruments were used to collect data. RESULTS: Significant differences of stress, social support, self-esteem, depression, and health-promoting lifestyles were found among the three groups. Stress, social support, and self-esteem were the significant predictors of postpartum depression for women living in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Stress and self-esteem were the significant predictors of postpartum depression for female aborigines living in Pingtung County, Taiwan. Education, social support, and self-esteem were the significant predictors of postpartum depression for women living in Fuzhou, China. CONCLUSION: These findings serve as a reminder that when considering postpartum depression mechanisms, one should not disregard cultural mediators. Also, there is evidence that the new mother's self-esteem is transculturally important with regard to the susceptibility to postpartum depression.
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