Nonpsychotic postpartum depression among adolescent mothers

J Abnorm Psychol. 1990 Feb;99(1):69-78. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.99.1.69.


This study examined the extent to which childbearing increases vulnerability to clinical depression and depressive symptomatology among primiparous adolescent girls (ages 14 to 18). Childbearing Ss (n = 128) were assessed during pregnancy, 6 weeks postpartum, and 1 year postpartum. Matched nonchildbearing Ss (n = 114) were assessed at corresponding time points. Six weeks postpartum, 6% of the childbearing adolescents met Research Diagnostic Criteria for major depression and 20% for minor depression. These rates were not significantly different from those found for nonchildbearing Ss (4% major depression, 10% minor depression). However, higher rates of somatic symptoms of depression were found among the childbearing Ss than among the nonchildbearing Ss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iowa
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Adolescence / psychology*
  • Puerperal Disorders / epidemiology*