Comprehensive Child Marriage Research Library

Teen Childbearing and Depression: Do Pregnancy Attitudes Matter?

Author(s):

Object Type:

Whitworth, Tanya Rouleau

Journal Article

Year & Month/Season:

2017

1

April

Publication/Publisher:

Journal of Marriage and Family

Peer Reviewed

false

PDF Available?

false

Public Link:

ISSN (If Available)

0022-2445

If Journal Article:

ISBN (If Book):

Page Start

390

Page End

404

Volume

79

Issue

2

DOI

10.1111/jomf.12380

N/A

Students Against Child Marriage's Object Summary:

Whitworth’s 2017 article fits squarely in a then-existing gap in the understanding of teen childbearing and depression. Although the author’s literature review reveals that no substantial connection exists between this social phenomenon and mental health issue, there had been no understanding about the attitudes adolescent women held prior to entering motherhood about becoming pregnant. In her analysis, Whitworth explored data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent health to determine that the aforementioned negligible correlation actually depended on adolescent pregnancy attitudes. The paper ultimately finds that negative attitudes are correlated to depression entering motherhood, whereas positive attitudes decrease the likelihood of such mental health suffering.

Article Abstract (If Available):

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.

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