Experiences from conception to age six have the most important influence of any time in the life

Adolescent Mothers

Factors Affecting Postpartum Depressive Symptoms of Adolescent Mothers


M. Loretta Secco, Sheila Profit, Evelyn Kennedy, Audrey Walsh, Nicole Letourneau, and Miriam Stewart


Objective : To assess the extent that antici pated maternal emotions in response to infant care (infant care emotionality or frustration and dissatisfaction with infant crying or fussing, or both), several forms of social support, and socioeconomic status explain fourth-week postpartum depressive symptoms of adolescent mothers.
Design : Secondary multiple regression analysis of a subset of variables from a larger longitudinal study that examined adolescent mothers and infants.
Setting : Two university teaching hospitals in Western Canada.
Participants : Convenience sample of 78 healthy adolescent mothers.
Main Outcome Measures : Prenatal anticipated infant care emotionality, perceived family and friend social support, socioeconomic status, enacted social support, and postpartum depressive symptoms.
Results : Anticipated infant care emotionality ( R 2 = .19) and socioeconomic status ( R 2 = .07) significantly predicted postpartum depressive symptoms. Family support, friend support, and enacted social support were not significant predictors of postpartum depressive symptoms.
Conclusion : Nurses in various settings can assess the pregnant adolescent’s anticipated infant care emotionality and socioeconomic status to determine their potential risk or vulnerability to postpartum depressive symptoms. More negative prenatal infant care emotionality was the strongest predictor of postpartum depressive symptoms. Validation of study findings with a larger, more representative sample is recommended. JOGNN, 36, 47-54; 2007. DOI: 10.1111/J.1552-6909.2006.00114.x

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