Click below to access information about our projects.

Current Projects

Cultural adaptation of the Mothers and Babies Course for rural women in East Africa.

In collaboration with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Dr. Le adapted the Mothers and Babies Course for pregnant women and mothers with children under age 2, based on input from informant interviews with staff and perinatal women. Pregnant women, postpartum mothers with their infants, and other caregivers (e.g., grandmothers) participate in the Mothers and Babies Course alongside an intervention focused on early childhood development.  These interventions take place in the Neighbor Women’s Groups in the women’s respective villages in Kenya and Tanzania. Preliminary findings indicate positive reductions in maternal depression and uptake of early stimulation behaviors. See also:

Prevention of perinatal depression in women in Spain: An international collaboration

Since Dr. Le and Dr. Maria Fe Rodríguez Muñoz have collaborated on a research study to examine the feasibility of integrating screening for prenatal depression and evaluating the Mothers and Babies Course as a preventive intervention for depression for pregnant high-risk women in two-hospital clinics in Madrid and Oviedo, Spain. This work was initially funded by the GWU’s Global Women’s Institute. Also, see


Past Projects

Adaptation of the Mothers and Babies Curriculum for One-to-One Delivery by Home Visitors

Project Goal: To culturally adapt the group-based MB Course for home visitors to deliver an individually-based intervention to their clients.  After documenting this adaptation, this iteration of the MB Course will be tested in Maryland and Illinois Home Visiting Programs.  

Principal Investigator S. Darius TandonNorthwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Co-Investigators: Deborah F. Perry, Georgetown University; Tamar Mendelson, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; and Hannah Snyder and Huynh-Nhu Le, GWU

Linking MCH and WIC: Integrating Perinatal Depression Screening and Prevention for High Risk Women

Project Goal: To learn how to integrate screening of perinatal depression; evaluate the effectiveness of a six-week cognitive-behavioral group intervention on preventing perinatal depression, and evaluate the impact of the preventive intervention on WIC participation and outcomes up to the first year postpartum.  Sample includes Latinas receiving services from the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, one of several federal programs that serve women and infants across the perinatal period.

This project was funded by the Department of Health and Human Services/ Health Resources and Services Administration/ Maternal and Child Health Bureau R40MC17179 (2/1/10-1/31/14)

Investigators: Huynh-Nhu Le, Deborah F. Perry, Joan Yengo

Integrating the Mothers and Babies Curriculum into Home Visiting in Baltimore City, Maryland

Project Goal: To assess the efficacy of a six-week cognitive behavioral intervention in preventing the onset of perinatal depression and reducing depressive symptoms among low-income women in home visitation programs.  The Mothers and Babies (MB) curriculum was adapted for use with a low-income African American population based upon extensive formative data collection using focus groups with home visiting clients, staff and supervisors.  Approximately 80 women at high risk for perinatal depression were randomized to participate in the MB classes plus home visiting services or home visiting as usual.  The MB classes were led by a licensed clinical social worker or clinical psychologist and contained didactic instruction on cognitive behavioral constructs, as well as activities and group discussion.  Between sessions, home visitors reinforced the MB content during their regularly scheduled home visits with intervention participants.   There was a statistically significant difference in depressive symptoms between intervention and usual care participants at 3 months and 6 months post-intervention.  At six months post-intervention, one in three women receiving usual care were assessed as having a depressive episode compared with 15% of women receiving the MB Course.    This project extends our knowledge of the effectiveness of the MB course in different settings and with diverse populations of low-income women.

This project was funded by a variety of sources including:  The Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, The Abell Foundation, and the Maryland Governor’s Office for Children, Youth, & Families.

Principal Investigator: S. Darius Tandon, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine;
Co-Investigators: Deborah F. Perry, Georgetown University; Tamar Mendelson, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; and Julie Leis, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.


Student Projects

Effects of Breastfeeding on Postpartum Depression and Anxiety 

Project Goal: To evaluate the association between breastfeeding, postpartum depression, and anxiety. The sample was composed of 283 postpartum mothers to collect data on demographics, medical history, initiation of breastfeeding, and depression. This project was conducted by utilizing the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and IBM SPSS. 

Investigators: Steven Chen, Huynh-Nhu Le, Sanan Dhaliwal 

Perinatal Depression Screening Rates at an Urban OBGYN Clinic 

Project Goal: To assess perinatal depression screening rates at an urban OBGYN clinic. By collecting patient demographics information and mental health treatments/ referral information, we hope to identify factors that may influence screening rates in order to increase the likelihood of detecting perinatal depression.

Investigators: Paula Cortes Campos, Miriam Toaff, Alice Barr, Madelyn Hernandez, Jennifer Keller, Huynh-Nhu Le 

Prenatal Depression and Anxiety in Salvadoran Women in the U.S. and in El Salvador

Project Goal: To examine the protective factors associated with postpartum depression and anxiety in Central American immigrants. Specifically, this study will aim to examine the moderating role of familism on the association between social support and postpartum depression and anxiety.  The samples will include Central American mothers with infants up to 12 months old, who migrated to the United States. This project will be conducted using methods of community-based participatory research.  

Investigators: Marta Genovez, Huynh-Nhu Le

The Psychological Well-Being of African-American and Latino Adolescent Fathers

Project Goal: To examine 1) the psychological well-being of adolescent fathers, specifically their experience, recognition, and expression of anxious and depressive symptoms, 2) the resources that adolescent fathers use to cope with emotional distress, and 3) to explore the extent to which there are ethnic differences in the emotional experiences and coping styles of African American and Latino adolescent fathers.

This project is funded by the Luther Rice Fellowship at GWU.

Investigators: Sam Lyons, Huynh-Nhu Le

Latino Couples' Project

Project Goal: The overall goal of this mixed methods study is to understand the influence of perinatal depression on the family relationship and its changes during the transition to parenthood - beginning in the third trimester during pregnancy and at 3 months postpartum.

This project is funded by the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship and the Columbian College Facilitating Fund 

Investigators: Samia Ortiz-Hernandez, Huynh-Nhu Le