Giving voice to adolescent mothers’ challenges


An estimated 32% to 60% of adolescent mothers experience postpartum depression. Young women who deal with the simultaneous developmental tasks of adolescence and parenting are vulnerable to depression, which affects the welfare of both the mother and child. The primary objective of this qualitative study was to appreciate the unique experiences of adolescent mothers. Seventeen postpartum adolescents participated in two focus groups and completed the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). The qualitative data analysis identified 19 major conceptual themes in the data. The four most frequently discussed themes that emerged were: 1) social support, 2) differences between teen and adult mothers, 3) parenting ability, and 4) increased maturity. Six of the 17 participants (35.3%) had CES-D scores of 16 or above, which is indicative of a probable major depression. These findings highlight areas that could inform screening assessments, treatment, and prevention programs for adolescent mothers.

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Skowron, A. , Clark, C. , Sadovsky, N. and Wisner, K. (2013) Giving voice to adolescent mothers’ challenges. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 3, 27-34. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2013.39A004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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