Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teen Pregnancy May Be Symptom, Not Cause, Of Emotional Distress

Date:
July 28, 2009
Source:
Center for Advancing Health
Summary:
It would make sense that teenage mothers have a lot of psychological stress in their lives, but a new study shows that the distress comes before the pregnancy, not because of it.

It would make sense that teenage mothers have a lot of psychological stress in their lives, but a new study shows that the distress comes before the pregnancy, not because of it.

“Psychological distress does not appear to be caused by teen childbearing, nor does it cause teen childbearing, except apparently among girls from poor households,” said Stefanie Mollborn, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sociology at the Institute of Behavioral Science of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The study, published in the September issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, used data from two large long-term U.S. surveys that followed thousands of teen girls and women. Participants responded to items on symptoms associated with depression, such as how often they found things that did not usually bother them to be bothersome, how easily they could shake off feeling blue or whether they had trouble concentrating. The researchers did not use the term “depression,” which is a clinical diagnosis.

Only the combination of poverty and existing distress was a good predictor of teen pregnancy.

Previous studies had shown high levels of depression among teen mothers, but nationally representative studies had not examined if distress was present before the pregnancy and stresses of young motherhood.

“Psychologically distressed girls are at risk for teen childbearing and vice versa, even if the two things usually do not cause each other,” Mollborn said. “This could help educators and clinicians identify at-risk adolescents.”

Looking for symptoms of depression or distress should be part of normal health screening for all teenagers, said Diane Merritt, M.D., director of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “Talking to teenagers about their sexuality and responsible behavior is key,” she said. Responsible behavior would include the use of birth control if the teenager were sexually active.

One of the best ways to prevent teen pregnancy is for teens to have long-term goals and good self-esteem, Merritt added.

High levels of depression have long-term negative consequences for both mothers and children, Mollborn said. The higher levels of psychological distress in women who had teenage pregnancies continued well into adulthood, she added.

Mollborn S, Morningstar E. Investigating the relationship between teenage childbearing and psychological distress using longitudinal evidence. J Health Social Behav 50(3), 2009.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center for Advancing Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center for Advancing Health. "Teen Pregnancy May Be Symptom, Not Cause, Of Emotional Distress." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727204829.htm>.
Center for Advancing Health. (2009, July 28). Teen Pregnancy May Be Symptom, Not Cause, Of Emotional Distress. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727204829.htm
Center for Advancing Health. "Teen Pregnancy May Be Symptom, Not Cause, Of Emotional Distress." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090727204829.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins