Adolescent motherhood and postpartum depression

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2005 Jun;34(2):292-300. doi: 10.1207/s15374424jccp3402_8.


Adolescent mothers undergo unique personal and social challenges that may contribute to postpartum functioning. In this exploratory investigation completed within a risk and resilience framework, 149 adolescent mothers, ages 15 to 19, who participated in school-based teen parents' programs, completed measures of parental stress (social isolation and role restriction), maternal competence, weight/shape concerns, and depression. The sample was quite diverse, and no ethnic differences in base rate levels of the variables were detected. Regression analyses indicated that social isolation, maternal competence, and weight/shape concerns predicted unique variance associated with depression level. The findings are discussed in light of future work and the continued need to inform prevention and treatment programs for young mothers.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Image
  • Body Weight
  • Depression, Postpartum / etiology
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Parenting
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / psychology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Isolation*
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological