Perinatal Depressive Symptom Trajectories Among Adolescent Women in New York City

Hannah R. Simons, Lorna E. Thorpe, Heidi E. Jones, Jessica B. Lewis, Jonathan N. Tobin, Jeannette R. Ickovics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Depression
  • Postpartum
  • Pregnancy in adolescence
  • Prenatal
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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