Brenda Kurz, PhD

Associate Professor, School of Social Work (Affiliate)

Research Overview

Much of my research has addressed the mental health and mental health service utilization of low-income mothers of young children, with a specific interest in perinatal depression. To date, this work has focused on women in the US and the screening tools utilized have been primarily western, but the findings indicated some interesting cultural differences, and called into question the cultural relevance of these tools as is supported by the literature. For example, the literature suggests that Haitian immigrants have three types of depression – each with its own set of symptoms which do not precisely match western diagnostic criteria, indicating the need for a culturally normed instrument. Specifically, fellow InCHIP affiliates Drs. Merrill Singer and Ross Buck and I wrote a Gates foundation Grand Challenges Explorations (Round 3) proposed to address this issue by proposing to develop a low-cost, low-threshold, culturally appropriate instrument to diagnose low-income Haitian women for perinatal depression. While not funded, our interest remains.


My in Public Health, specifically epidemiology, from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and my MSW is from the Smith College School for Social Work.

Recent Publications

Contact Information
Mailing AddressSchool of Social Work
1798 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117