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Ambul Pediatr. 2008 Mar-Apr;8(2):109-16. doi: 10.1016/j.ambp.2007.12.003.

Depressive symptoms in disadvantaged women receiving prenatal care: the influence of adverse and positive childhood experiences.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware, USA. echung@nemours.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), positive influences in childhood (PICs), and depressive symptoms among low-income pregnant women.

METHODS:

Face-to-face survey of women receiving prenatal care at Philadelphia community health centers. We conducted surveys at the first prenatal care visit and at a mean age +/- standard deviation of 11 +/- 1 months postpartum, and obtained information on sociodemographic characteristics and childhood experiences before age 16. Group differences were tested with respect to a cutpoint of 23 on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale (CES-D), with the chi(2) test used for categorical variables and the Student's t test used for continuous variables. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to adjust for potential confounding variables.

RESULTS:

The sample consisted of 1476 mostly young, African American, low-income women. The majority (70% and 90%, respectively) of women reported at least one ACE and one PIC. For each ACE, affected women were more likely to have depressive symptoms than their counterparts. There was a dose-response effect in that a higher number of ACEs was associated with a higher likelihood of having depressive symptoms. PICs, on the other hand, were associated with a lower likelihood of having depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS:

Among low-income women, ACEs were associated with a higher likelihood of having depressive symptoms in a dose-response fashion, and PICs were associated with a lower risk. Efforts to prevent ACEs and to promote PICs might help reduce the risk of depressive symptoms and their associated problems in adulthood.

PMID:
18355740
DOI:
10.1016/j.ambp.2007.12.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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