Development and Psychopathology

  • Development and Psychopathology / Volume 25 / Issue 4pt1 / November 2013, pp 1065-1078
  • Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013. The online version of this article is published within an Open Access environment subject to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence <>. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use.
  • DOI: (About DOI), Published online: 08 November 2013

Regular Articles

The efficacy of interpersonal psychotherapy for depression among economically disadvantaged mothers

Sheree L. Totha1 c1, Fred A. Rogoscha1, Assaf Oshria1, Julie Gravener-Davisa1, Robin Sturma1 and Antonio Alexander Morgan-Lópeza2a3

a1 Mt. Hope Family Center, University of Rochester

a2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

a3 RTI International Research


A randomized clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) for ethnically and racially diverse, economically disadvantaged women with major depressive disorder. Non-treatment-seeking urban women (N = 128; M age = 25.40, SD = 4.98) with infants were recruited from the community. Participants were at or below the poverty level: 59.4% were Black and 21.1% were Hispanic. Women were screened for depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale; the Diagnostic Interview Schedule was used to confirm major depressive disorder diagnosis. Participants were randomized to individual IPT or enhanced community standard. Depressive symptoms were assessed before, after, and 8 months posttreatment with the Beck Depression Inventory—II and the Revised Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. The Social Support Behaviors Scale, the Social Adjustment Scale—Self-Report, and the Perceived Stress Scale were administered to examine mediators of outcome at follow-up. Treatment effects were evaluated with a growth mixture model for randomized trials using complier-average causal effect estimation. Depressive symptoms trajectories from baseline through postintervention to follow-up showed significant decreases among the IPT group compared to the enhanced community standard group. Changes on the Perceived Stress Scale and the Social Support Behaviors Scale mediated sustained treatment outcome.


c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Sheree L. Toth, Mt. Hope Family Center, University of Rochester, 187 Edinburgh Street, Rochester, NY 14608; E-mail:


  This research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, Grant MH091070. We thank the participants in this investigation, as well as the therapists and research assistants, including Brenda Ortolaza-Caraballo, Bree Scribner, and Deborah Welker. We thank Arin Connell for statistical consultation on the utilization of the complier average causal effect modeling on an earlier version of this manuscript.