Member Monday: McClain Sampson

I'm pleased to introduce Ms. McClain Sampson, Ph.D.


McClain Sampson, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston. McClain teaches master’s and doctoral level students on qualitative research methods and assessment in social work settings. She oversees a grant from the Dept. of Health and Human Services that funds bilingual social work students to receive advanced clinical training in mental and behavioral health for underserved populations. She also conducts her own research on effective prevention programs to reduce the prevalence of postpartum depression and anxiety among low-income mothers in Houston. She just completed a study of an intervention that was successful in reducing depression among inner city pregnant mothers and is seeking funding to reach more women with the intervention. She is currently conducting a study, “A qualitative exploration of the development of self-identity during the transition to motherhood” which involves interviewing mothers about their own perceptions of who they were as before and after becoming a mother. Dr. Sampson presents her research at local and national conferences and is a strong advocate for self-care as an important component of mental health for mothers.

What are you trying to promote with your research?: Since my doctorate work I’ve been striving to bring more awareness to the critical need for mental health to be a priority for mothers. Although much attention is given to maternal health when women are pregnant, the attention from medical community, friends and family is usually geared toward a healthy pregnancy with the goal of healthy baby. Obviously this is important but my concern is the lack of attention on the mother’s own mental and social transition to motherhood and the overwhelming feelings and circumstances that can occur after the baby is born. Through my research and public speaking, I attempt to educate professionals who encounter new mothers about the importance of early screening and intervention for maternal depression, chronic stress and anxiety.


What makes you feel strong?
I feel most strong when I can quiet my mind and listen intently to my own voice and then follow through on listening to that voice. I’m most strong when I’m being genuine in the world. I feel most strong when I experience one of those profound mothering moments. I feel strong when I’m working out and can feel grateful that my body is able to move and do what I ask.


UH Faculty page:

If you are a first time mother and your child is under 24 months old and you wish to be a party of the self-identity study you can contact her at