Whitworth, Tanya R. (2017). Teen childbearing and depression: Do pregnancy attitudes matter?. Journal of Marriage and Family.
vol. 79 (2) pp. 390-404
The relationship between teen childbearing and depression has been extensively studied; however, little is known about how young women's own attitudes toward becoming pregnant shape this association. This study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to investigate whether the relationship between teen childbearing and adult depression is moderated by adolescent attitudes toward becoming pregnant. The results showed that although, on average, women who had first births between ages 16 and 19 experienced no more depressive symptoms in adulthood than women who had first births at age 20 or older, the relationship between teen childbearing and adult depression varied significantly based on adolescent pregnancy attitudes. When they had negative adolescent attitudes toward getting pregnant, teen mothers had similar levels of depression as adult mothers, but when they had positive adolescent pregnancy attitudes, teen mothers actually had fewer depressive symptoms than women with adult first births.
adolescent childbearing depression fertility mental health stress
Journal of Marriage and Family
Whitworth, Tanya R.
November 11, 2016