Author ORCID Identifier


Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Kathleen Baggett, PhD

Second Advisor

Sarah McCool, PhD, MPH, MHA


It is well-recognized that maternal depression is an adverse mental health outcome and is associated with negative physical health outcomes for mothers and infants. In the United States, minoritized women are significantly more likely to experience postpartum depression compared to white women (Bauman et al, 2020, Niel & Payne, 2020). Furthermore, due to extreme access barriers, minoritized women are significantly less likely to gain access to and continue treatment (Kozhimannil et al, 2011). Depressive symptoms can compromise maternal-infant interaction and cause delays in infant social-emotional development and communication for infants (Kingston and Tough, 2014, Mughal et al, 2019, Neil and Payne, 2020). Although there are effective interventions for reducing maternal depression and separate interventions for promoting positive parenting practices that scaffold infant social communication, rarely are these separate interventions integrated (Baggett et al, 2021a). Uniquely, a recently completed randomized control trial study with a socioeconomically disadvantaged sample of primarily African American women (N=184) explored two parallel virtual intervention programs targeting maternal depression and positive parenting: a cognitive behavioral approach or a person-centered support approach (Baggett et al, 2023). As little is known about the preferences of Black mothers for mobile coaching interventions targeting maternal depression and practices for promoting infant social communication, future research is warranted to optimize reach, access, and engagement in such programs. This study addresses this need by examining mothers’ interview reports of their preferences for virtual intervention. This secondary analysis study was conducted using interview data from a subsample of mothers (N=30) from the original Mom and Baby Net RCT (Baggett et al, 2021b). Interview data was transcribed and NVivo was used to support exploration of the data. Themes were then identified, defined, and examples and non-examples were specified for the purpose of quantitative coding to produce a summary of the frequencies of emergent themes with a socioeconomically disadvantaged sample of primarily African American women. Motivating factors for program engagement were identified including a desire to seek help for postpartum depression and coach support. These findings of Black mothers' preferences for virtual intervention provide implications for future MBN implementation studies and similar programs.


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