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05-02-2016 | Original Paper | Uitgave 7/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 7/2016

Factors Related to the Seeking and Contribution of Prenatal Care Among Ethnically Diverse Adolescents

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 7/2016
Cheryl Ann Anderson, Brittani Rahn


This article describes an issue of importance to the field of medicine and nursing. We examined factors related to the seeking of prenatal care (PNC) and contribution of PNC on infant complications and psychological birth trauma among adolescents. Additionally, we addressed the confounding factors of violence and depression, common occurrences within this frequently overlooked age range. We collected data from a convenience sample of 260 ethnically diverse adolescents, ages 13–19, within 72 h of birth. We found that most adolescents did not receive the minimum number of PNC visits. Logistic regression models documented that none of the study variables influenced seeking PNC. However, we did find gestational age, as expected, and partner violence to affect the number of PNC visits obtained. Depressive symptoms significantly influenced infant complications, and psychological birth trauma, which was measured via objective and subjective indicators (appraisal). Our findings also revealed that PNC did not contribute to infant complications or birth trauma. Yet, despite obtaining the most PNC visits, Black adolescents appeared most at risk for infant complications, depression, and birth trauma. We believe that the clinical significance of these findings supports the need to better address the psychosocial dimension of care as part of routine PNC. We recommend increased assessments of violence and depression throughout pregnancy, especially for the Black adolescent with targeted education to aid in recognition of symptoms, consequences to maternal and infant health, and connections to psychological birth trauma.

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