245725 Psychosocial predictors of perinatal depression among low-income teens

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Katherine Baumann, BS , Family Life Development Center, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Charles Izzo, PhD , Family Life Development Center, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Rachel Herold, BS , Family Life Development Center, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Background: Perinatal depression has pervasive negative impacts on maternal and child wellbeing; such effects can be especially detrimental for adolescent mothers and their babies, who are already at high developmental risk. This study examined the relationship between major life stressors and current feelings of depression and low mastery in low-income pregnant teenagers participating in a nurse visitation program. It was hypothesized that these stressors would predict higher levels of depression, perceptions of lower mastery, and that these relationships would decrease with age. Methods: The sample included 263 pregnant adolescents enrolled in a countywide nurse home visitation program from 2003 through 2009. During intake interviews with nurses, mothers reported on abuse history, feelings about pregnancy and upcoming birth, and items measuring depression and sense of mastery. Results: Based on multiple regression analysis, mothers' report of experiencing physical abuse predicted greater depression (2.97, p<.05). Mothers' report of experiencing sexual abuse predicted lower sense of mastery (.45, p<.05). Separately, mothers' report of not wanting to have a baby predicted lower sense of mastery (.13, p<.05). A significant interaction existed between age and physical abuse with respect to depression, such that physical abuse predicted depression less as age increased (-1.13, p=.06). There was no such age interaction for sexual abuse. Conclusions: These results highlight the contributing role that major life stressors can play in the psychosocial health of this high-risk group. Efforts to improve adolescent mothers' mental health and caregiving should consider the stressful context they experience as they enter into the maternal role.

Learning Areas:
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify psychosocial predictors of perinatal depression in low-income pregnant teens 2. Analyze the relationships between major life stressors and the psychosocial functioning of pregnant teens

Keywords: Mental Health, Teen Pregnancy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was responsible for the bulk of the data entry, management and analysis, as well as the preparation of 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.