Mescall, William M. (2014). Maternal age and adolescent depression: An archival analysis.
It has been documented that the children of teenage parents tend to have more cognitive, academic, and behavioral problems than the children of older parents. Additionally, depressive symptoms tend to be more common in the children of adolescent mothers. This is especially concerning for children in the United States of America, as this country has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the industrialized world. However, there is little research on the effect of teenage motherhood on depressive symptoms as children age into teenagers. In 1994 the University of North Carolina initiated a nationwide survey (ADD Health Survey) of adolescents and their parents. The information gathered in this study was published in a public-access dataset. This data was used to investigate the relationship between maternal age and adolescent depressive symptoms, as well as several other related variables. Results indicated that the children of the youngest mothers had significantly more depressive symptoms than the children of older mothers. Adolescents tended to endorse fewer depressive symptoms when their mothers were more educated or had a higher income. These findings are limited by the inability to control for some key variables such as maternal depression and the fact that some variables were measured categorically (maternal education) rather than numerically. The results suggest that programs aimed at increasing education, income, and the age of conception can reduce the incidence of depression in the U.S. population.
Copyright - Copyright ProQuest, UMI Dissertations Publishing 2014
Mescall, William M.
Adler School of Professional Psychology
City of Publication