Adolescent females are disproportionately at risk for depression, which is expected to represent the leading cause of disability in 2030 (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH] 2019). Although prior research has suggested that both child maltreatment and adolescent pregnancy increase the risk for depressive symptoms, less is known about how these two interact to influence depression in late adolescence. The present study tested the unique and interactive effects of adolescent pregnancy and child maltreatment on late-adolescent depressive symptomatology (N = 186) with a prospective, longitudinal design that utilized documented records of maltreatment and included demographically comparable (i.e., economically disadvantaged), nonmaltreated and non-pregnant comparisons. Participants were assessed at ages 10–12 and 18–21. Structural equation modeling was used to test whether adolescent pregnancy amplified the effect of child maltreatment on late-adolescent depressive symptoms. In the context of economic disadvantage, results indicated that the effect of child maltreatment on late-adolescent depressive symptoms was significantly enhanced for those who experienced an adolescent pregnancy. This effect remained after controlling for prior depressive symptoms, peer and maternal relationship quality, and romantic relationship violence. The findings are translated to preliminary guidance for practitioners regarding precision depression screening and tailored preventive interventions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by grants received from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA17741), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P50-HD096698), and the Spunk Fund, Inc.
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Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Adolescent pregnancy
- Child maltreatment
- Internalizing psychopathology
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't