Mental health of young parents from pregnancy through 1 year postpartum
Poor mental health during the postpartum period can have a significant impact on parents and their new baby. Young parents may be more vulnerable to poor mental health than older parents; however, research to understand their mental health and use of mental health services is limited. Accordingly, we aimed to examine depressive symptoms and use of mental health care among young parents. Data were derived from a longitudinal cohort of pregnant adolescent females (ages 14-21; N=296) and their male partners followed through 1 year postpartum. Multilevel regression models stratified by gender identified trends over time and factors associated with elevated depressive symptoms (top quartile; >13 on modified CES-D). Depressive symptoms significantly decreased from pregnancy through 1 year postpartum among females (B=-0.91, p<0.001), but increased among males, although this trend was non-significant (B=0.35, p=0.145). Mental health care use was stable for females (approximately 5.0%), but increased significantly for males (OR=1.70, p=0.014) from 1.4% during pregnancy to 4.0% at 1 year. Among females, healthy eating (OR=0.50) and greater social support (OR=0.94) were associated with lower odds of having elevated depressive symptoms, while experiencing intimate partner violence (OR=6.61) was associated with higher odds (all p<0.05). Among males, greater social support (OR=0.97) and higher relationship satisfaction (OR=0.98) were associated with lower odds of having elevated depressive symptoms (both p<0.05). Results suggest postpartum mental health, particularly among young males, requires additional attention. Improving relationships between young parents, their use of mental health services, and social support may help improve the overall health of young families.
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe trajectories of depressive symptoms from pregnancy through 1 year postpartum among young females and males
Examine the mental health care utilization among young females and males during pregnancy and through 1 year postpartum
Identify predictors of elevated symptoms of depression among young females and males during pregnancy through 1 year postpartum
Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, Mental Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked as a research fellow on this cohort study and others pertaining to the health of pregnant and parenting adolescents, and I have published several articles in peer-reviewed journals on this topic. I also have completed my doctoral training in epidemiology and am pursuing a research trajectory focused on improving postpartum health among adolescent parents.
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.