Depression and Unintended Pregnancy: Are They Related?

Laurie James-Hawkins, University of Colorado at Boulder
Danielle Denardo, University of Colorado at Boulder

Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health was used to determine if there is a relationship between depression and unintended pregnancy. Specifically, depression measures taken prior to a first pregnancy were used to predict later reports of the pregnancy as having been unintended. It was found that depression prior to first pregnancy affects later report of the intendedness of pregnancy through the mechanisms of marital status age at birth. Those who reported an unintended pregnancy were more likely to have reported being unmarried at the time of birth, and to have been younger at the time of birth. Depression was predictive of both of these factors when all were entered into a multivariate model, and in bivariate models, was directly related to reports of unintended pregnancy. Policy changes which focus on treatment of depression in early adolescence may have implications for reduction of unintended pregnancy in adulthood.

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Presented in Poster Session 6