Prevalence, Course, and Predictors of Emotional Distress in Pregnant and Parenting Adolescents
This study examines trajectories and correlates of emotional distress symptoms in pregnant adolescents (n = 203) and nulliparous adolescents (n = 188) from economically disadvantaged communities over an 18-month period. For both groups, the prevalence of significant emotional distress exceeded expectation based on adolescent norms; however, the severity of symptoms did not differ between the 2 groups. Results from growth curve modeling revealed a significant decline in symptoms during the study period for both groups, but pregnant adolescents experienced a different pattern of decline. Also, certain interpersonal factors (e.g., history of physical maltreatment, partner support) appeared to play a more important role in the emotional well-being of pregnant and parenting adolescents relative to nulliparous adolescents. Implications for early identification and intervention are discussed.
Milan, S; Kershaw, T; Lewis, J; Ickovics, JR; Meade, C; Ethier, K
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