Social Support and Perinatal Depression: The Perspectives of Mexican-American Adolescent Mothers

Pamela Recto, Jane Dimmitt Champion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Perinatal depression is estimated to affect one in seven pregnant women. As such, social support has been shown to impact the mental health of women during the perinatal period. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to examine the types of social support received by pregnant and parenting Mexican-American adolescent mothers and their perceptions of how it can influence perinatal mental health. Deductive content analysis was used to analyze the data using emotional, instrumental, and informational support as primary categories. Positive and negative aspects of the adolescent’s social network were also included to understand how individuals impact their mental health. A convenience sample of 20 perinatal Mexican-American adolescents were interviewed. Emotional support, such as encouragement and affirmation, as well as instrumental support, via financial assistance and help with infant care, were primarily sought from significant others, which consisted of family members and their partner. Having strained relationships with their significant others primarily contributed to emotional distress. Health care providers were often sought out for informational support concerning perinatal depression. However, some adolescents were unable to establish rapport with their health care provider, making it difficult to inquire about pertinent mental health information. Study findings suggest that identifying support needs and expectations is an important component of facilitating positive mental health outcomes for Mexican-American adolescent mothers. Future efforts to promote mental health and prevent perinatal depression among Mexican-American adolescent mothers should consider integrating a strong focus on social support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)932-939
Number of pages8
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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