Assessment of Mental Health Literacy among Perinatal Hispanic Adolescents

Pamela Recto, Jane Dimmitt Champion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


According to the United States (U.S.) Census Bureau, Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic minority in the U.S. As such, Hispanic females have the highest birth rate (35 per 1000) among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 years. Despite high fertility rates, there is limited mental health information among Hispanic adolescents during the perinatal period. Perinatal depression is a major concern as it poses health risks for both the mother and infant. Adverse outcomes such as preterm birth, low infant birth weight, and poor maternal-infant attachment may result from perinatal depression. However, less than half of Hispanic adolescent mothers who experience perinatal depression receive treatment. Previous research identified low mental health literacy (MHL) as one of the primary reasons for the limited use of mental health services among ethnic minorities. This study assessed the MHL of pregnant and postpartum Hispanic adolescents (n = 30) using a modified MHL scale. Implications for nursing practice are discussed to help improve mental health outcomes among pregnant and postpartum Hispanic adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1030-1038
Number of pages9
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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