Purpose: The aim of the study was to estimate distinct trajectories of depressive symptoms among adolescent women across the perinatal period. Methods: Using longitudinal depressive symptom data (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale) from control participants in the Centering Pregnancy Plus Project (2008–2012), we conducted group-based trajectory modeling to identify depressive symptomatology trajectories from early pregnancy to 1-year postpartum among 623 adolescent women in New York City. We examined associations between sociodemographic, psychosocial, and pregnancy characteristics and the outcome, depressive symptom trajectories. Results: We identified three distinct trajectory patterns: stable low or no depressive symptoms (58%), moderate depressive symptoms declining over time (32%), and chronically high depressive symptoms (11%). Women with chronically high symptoms reported higher levels of pregnancy distress and social conflict and lower perceived quality of social support than other women. Conclusions: This study found heterogeneity in perinatal depressive symptom trajectories and identified a group with chronically high symptoms that might be detected during prenatal care. Importantly, we did not identify a trajectory group with new-onset high depressive symptoms postpartum. Findings have important implications for screening and early treatment.
- Pregnancy in adolescence
- Social support
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health