Jocelyn Ruiz

Document Type

Honors Thesis


The purpose of this secondary analysis was to explore the prevalence of perinatal depression and effects of depression upon neonatal outcomes among Latina adolescents. The subjects included Latina adolescents (13-19 years old; N=183) giving birth at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, TX. The study design was a secondary analysis of data originally collected over nine months postpartum to explore adolescents’ (N=303) mental health and birth experiences. Depression variables were measured via a one-item rating scale for prenatal depression and the Edinburg Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS). A composite variable of this data defined perinatal depression. Adverse infant outcomes included preterm birth, birth weight, and neonatal complications. Using available data, analyses consisted of descriptive statistics to describe sample and show prevalence rates for depression and adverse infant outcomes. Pearson correlation coefficient decided individual and composite associations between variables. Logistic regression determined potential effects of depression upon infant outcome. Over one in five adolescents reported a neonatal complication. EPDS scores showed nearly 14% to have minor depression and 12.7% to have major depression. Weak associations were found between EPDS scores and gestational age, r= -.19, p=.02 and neonatal complications, r=.27; p=.02. Using logistic regression, perinatal depression was not found to significantly predict neonatal outcome; however, higher prenatal depression ratings was found to predict higher EPDS scores. This study is one of the few to explore a population of specifically Latina pregnant adolescents for perinatal depression and effects upon infant outcomes. At risk Latina adolescents were found to be those giving birth to a preterm infant or infant with neonatal complications or identified as experiencing prenatal depression; therefore, assessments and focused care with follow-up is essential prior to discharge home. Lack of research in this population and age group is overlooked and findings suggest additional research to better see the effects of perinatal depression.

Publication Date






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