Stressor Events, Resources, and Depressive Symptoms in Rural, Low-Income Mothers
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This study, based on stress theory, sought to understand whether resources moderate the effects of stressors on depressive symptoms over time among a sample of rural, low-income mothers. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were utilized to explain the phenomena under investigation. Results revealed that higher numbers of stressors were associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms. At time one, resources were found to moderate the effects of stressors on depressive symptoms, with higher levels of resources and higher levels of stress producing the greatest level of depressive symptoms. At time two, resources did not moderate the effects of stressors on depressive symptoms. This study found that resources do not always serve a protective function. One explanation appears to be the "hidden cost" of resources revealed in the mothers' interviews. Recommendations for future research and practical applications are discussed.