176349 Postpartum depression risk in African American and Hispanic adolescent mothers

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 11:06 AM

Kathy S. Katz, PhD , Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC
Margaret Rodan, ScD , Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC
Kristine M. Andrews, PhD , Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC
Renee Milligan, PhD , School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Lauren Courtney, MPH , RTI-International, Washington, DC
Sylvia Tan, MS , Research Triangle Institute, Washington, DC
M. Nabil El-Khorazaty, PhD , Statistics and Epidemiology Unit, RTI International, Rockville, MD
Siva Subramanian, MD , Division of Neonatology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC

Depression is under-diagnosed in minority women. Maternal depression puts infants and mothers at risk. Little is known about risks that predispose minority adolescent mothers to postpartum depression(PPD). Identification of risks associated with PPD in this population may allow early intervention and reduce adverse outcomes.


To identify risk factors associated with PPD in minority teen mothers.


African American and Hispanic teens (n= 187), ages 15-19, were interviewed during pregnancy and postpartum. Analysis of baseline data of an RCT to reduce repeat teen pregnancy is reported. Measures of depressive symptomatology (Patient Health Questionnaire), relationships, social support and risk behaviors were analyzed.


At postpartum, 28% of the adolescent mothers presented with PPD symptomatology. Depressed teens had higher rates of sexual abuse (OR=2.2, 95% CI 1.1-4.4), family violence (OR=2.3, CI 1.1-4.7), conflict with her boyfriend (OR 8.0, CI 3.8-16.7), and weekly marijuana use before pregnancy (OR=2.3, CI 1.1-4.7) than non-depressed teens. In the reduced logistic regression model, conflict with boyfriend remained the strongest predictor of depression (OR 8.9, CI 4.1-19.4). No differences were found for age, ethnicity, social support, school attendance, or pregnancy intention between depressed and non-depressed teens.


Adolescent mothers who are in conflict with boyfriends, have been exposed to family violence and sexual abuse, and regularly used marijuana before pregnancy, are at risk for PPD. Health practitioners need to screen for depression, particularly among pregnant and postpartum teen mothers who report the above risks, and be prepared to initiate immediate interventions.

Funded by NICHD

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion participants will be able to: 1.Identify those factors that are associated with postpartum depression in teen mothers. 2.Recognize the need for depression screening in teens at risk

Keywords: Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Minority Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have served as project director for a study on teen mothers for the past several years. I was involved in the data collection and analysis for this presentation
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.