The Role of Prenatal Stress and Maternal Emotional Support on the Postpartum Depressive Symptoms of African American Adolescent Fathers

Terrinieka T. Williams, Gi Shawn Mance, Cleopatra Caldwell, Toni C. Antonucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study sought to better understand the ways in which prenatal stress and support from their mother influences postpartum depressive symptoms among African American adolescent fathers. The study's objectives were to (a) examine the relationship between prenatal stress and maternal support with postpartum depressive symptoms among African American adolescent fathers and (b) determine whether maternal support buffers the relationship between prenatal stress and postpartum depressive symptoms among adolescent fathers. A total of 59 first-time adolescent fathers participated in the study. Results revealed that more prenatal maternal support and lower prenatal stress were predictive of lower levels of postpartum depressive symptoms among fathers. Results did not support the buffering hypothesis for maternal support. This finding suggests that maternal support plays a positive role in the lives of adolescent fathers regardless of their prenatal stress levels. Study findings highlight the need to more broadly explore resources available to adolescent fathers. Future researchers must expand the discourse on adolescent parents to include the psychological risks and potential protective factors present in the lives of young African American fathers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-470
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Black Psychology
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Keywords

  • adolescent fathers
  • maternal support
  • psychological well-being
  • transition to parenthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Applied Psychology

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