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Article

Modelling Maternal Depression: An Agent-Based Model to Examine the Complex Relationship between Relative Income and Depression

1
Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, 11405-87 Ave, Edmonton, AB T6G 1C9, Canada
2
Child Development Centre, University of Calgary, 3820-24 Avenue NW, Calgary, AB T2M 1Z7, Canada
3
Royal Alexandra Hospital, 10240 Kingsway NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 3V9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Luzia Gonçalves and Inês Campos-Matos
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4208; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074208
Received: 18 February 2022 / Revised: 30 March 2022 / Accepted: 30 March 2022 / Published: 1 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Inequalities in Urban Areas—Factors, Processes, and Dynamics)
Depression is a major public health concern among expectant mothers in Canada. Income inequality has been linked to depression, so interventions for reducing income inequality may reduce the prevalence of maternal depression. The current study aims to simulate the effects of government transfers and increases to minimum wage on depression in mothers. We used agent-based modelling techniques to identify the predicted effects of income inequality reducing programs on maternal depression. Model parameters were identified using the All Our Families cohort dataset and the existing literature. The mean age of our sample was 30 years. The sample was also predominantly white (78.6%) and had at least some post-secondary education (89.1%). When income was increased by just simulating an increase in minimum wage, the proportion of depressed mothers decreased by 2.9% (p < 0.005). Likewise, simulating the Canada Child Benefit resulted in a 5.0% decrease in the prevalence of depression (p < 0.001) and Ontario’s Universal Basic Income pilot project resulted in a simulated 5.6% decrease in the prevalence of depression (p < 0.001). We also assessed simulated changes to the mother’s social networks. Progressive income policies and increasing social networks are predicted to decrease the probability of depression. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental health; maternal mental health; income inequality; agent-based modelling mental health; maternal mental health; income inequality; agent-based modelling
MDPI and ACS Style

Benny, C.; Yamamoto, S.; McDonald, S.; Chari, R.; Pabayo, R. Modelling Maternal Depression: An Agent-Based Model to Examine the Complex Relationship between Relative Income and Depression. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 4208. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074208

AMA Style

Benny C, Yamamoto S, McDonald S, Chari R, Pabayo R. Modelling Maternal Depression: An Agent-Based Model to Examine the Complex Relationship between Relative Income and Depression. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(7):4208. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074208

Chicago/Turabian Style

Benny, Claire, Shelby Yamamoto, Sheila McDonald, Radha Chari, and Roman Pabayo. 2022. "Modelling Maternal Depression: An Agent-Based Model to Examine the Complex Relationship between Relative Income and Depression" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 7: 4208. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074208

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