CHICAGO, December 10, 2002 ( – A study has found that mothers who are not married when they give birth to their first child are much more likely to suffer depression later in life than mothers who are married at the birth of their first child.  However the study was surprising to some researchers since it was found that even teenage mothers who are married at the time of are psychologically more healthy than mothers who are of a more responsible age but bear their children out of wedlock.  The study found that “Unmarried teenage childbearers displayed higher levels of depressive symptoms in young adulthood than did women who first give birth as married adults. However, the psychological health of married teenage mothers in later life was as good as that of married adult mothers, whereas unmarried adult mothers and unmarried teenage mothers had similarly poor outcomes.”  The study thus concluded that “marital status, rather than age at first birth, may be more relevant for later-life psychological health.”

Researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of Maryland looked at 990 married and unmarried teenage mothers and used data from the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth for the study. “Teenage Childbearing, Marital Status, and Depressive Symptoms in Later Life” is published in the November/December 2002 edition of the journal Child Development (vol. 73, no. 6, pp. 1748-1760(13))  See the abstract of the study:|-5800341845033014941/-1052814329/6/7051/7051/7052/7052/7051/-1


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