Sociologist claims teen pregnancies can make for reduced depression in adulthood

Teen pregnancies may not necessarily be linked to adult depression
Teen pregnancies may not necessarily be linked to adult depression | Courtesy of Shutterstock
In a recent study conducted by Tanya Whitworth, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts, new information was uncovered about teen pregnancies and childbearing in relation to depression, compared to adult depression.

In the experiment, Whitworth studied a group of 2,898 women. Of the group, nearly 600 had been pregnant and had children while they were still teens, between 16 to 19 years old, while the remainder had been adults when they gave birth, between the ages of 20 to 32.

The finds of the study were twofold: firstly, the study showed that depressive symptoms in adulthood were not related more heavily to teen pregnancy when compared to adult pregnancies and childbearing. Secondly, the study showed that if a woman was able to have a positive teen pregnancy, she would be less depressed as an adult that an individual who bore her first child when she was an adult.

The results of her studies were published in the online Journal of Marriage and Family.

When asked about the study, Whitworth explained that it is still important to educate young girls about how to prevent pregnancies. The article, Whitworth said, highlights the importance of and individual's attitudes and wishes in relation to being able to adjust to life changes, such as pregnancy.

"I also hope to highlight the heterogeneity of women's experiences with teen childbearing and point out that teen childbearing may not be detrimental (in terms of depression) to all women," she said.

The entire study is accessible online, titled "Teen Childbearing and Depression: Do Pregnancy Attitudes Matter?"

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University of Massachusetts Amherst

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