Association between depressive symptoms in adolescence and birth outcomes in early adulthood using a population-based sample
MetadataShow full item record
Background Adolescent female depressive symptomatology is an unrecognized mood disorder that impairs health in adolescence or adulthood. However, the long-term effects of pre-pregnancy depressive symptoms on birth outcomes in adulthood have not been given adequate empirical assessments. Results Exposure to elevated depressive symptoms in late adolescence, but not in adulthood, was associated with increased odds of LBW by more than 2-fold in early and young adulthoods (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=2.19; 95% confidence interval, CI: 1.56, 3.08). Depressive symptoms in early adulthood were independently associated with increased odds of PTB and were higher for black mothers. Maternal race modified the relationship between consistent reporting of depressive symptoms in adolescence and LBW or PTB in adulthood. Conclusion This study provides compelling evidence that effects of elevated depressive symptomatology on LBW or PTB appear to be linked to a specific development period in adolescence. National policies to address social inequalities and stratification particularly in health at all stages of human development, will provide an important step in reducing depressive symptoms prior to early adulthood and in pregnancy and childbirth.