Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Andrew Dewan


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between maternal depressive symptoms and hypertension among African American mothers from the InterGEN study.

Data Source: The Intergenerational Blood Pressure (InterGEN) Study was a longitudinal study which enrolled 250 African American mother-child dyads based in Southwest and Central Connecticut.

Methods: We used logistic regression models to examine the association between depressive symptoms and hypertension, and adjusted for educational level, employment in the past 6 months, and Race-Related Events Score (RRES). We used growth curve modeling to examine the association of systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) separately from four time points (T1 to T4), which are six months apart from each other, within four multivariable models (Employment model, BDI model, RRES model, BDI + RRES model).

Results: After adjustment, depressive symptoms were not associated with hypertension prevalence at T4 (p=0.362). When we modeled blood pressure using growth curve modeling, African American mothers with higher depressive symptom scores had higher estimated marginal systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressures from T1 to T4 compared with the ones with lower depressive symptom scores in the profile plots.

Conclusion: In this sample of African American mothers, we found no statistically significant association between maternal depressive symptoms and hypertension, however we did find that higher depressive symptoms was associated with higher estimated marginal systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Future research should be done on depressive symptoms and hypertension in African American populations to elucidate mechanisms behind this finding, and implications for clinical care and prevention.


This thesis is restricted to Yale network users only. It will be made publicly available on 05/27/2022