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In order to improve maternal and child health, policy makers and health care workers must know what is contributing to maternal stress and which resources women need to better support their children’s growth and development. 


  • What are the factors that are contributing to high stress and poor mental health for mothers on the Galapagos?
  • What services would mothers of young children like to help them support their children’s growth and development?

People: Julee Waldrop, Betty Martinez, Alasia Ledford, Amanda Thompson, and Hannah Jahnke

This past summer (2019) our team continued to build on prior research performed by Center for Galapagos researchers, as well as Dr. Thompson’s and Hannah Jahnke’s current work.  Previous studies have revealed that mothers of young children in the Galapagos experience symptoms of stress and express worries about their own and their children’s health.  The purpose of last summer’s study was to explore the feasibility of providing interventions for women with young children 0-3 years old to address these symptoms and concerns. The group conducted interviews with purposive samples of young mothers, community members and healthcare professionals to gain further insight into the issues mothers face as well as current coping mechanisms, potential interventions along with barriers and facilitators to provision of supportive interventions / programs.  Data from the interviews is currently being analyzed and next steps are to confirm results with participants and continue the dialogue, hopefully to support an island led partnerships for the future.

This project is funded by a Center for Galapagos Studies Seed Grant.