Teenage African-African mothers who are depressed are two times more likely to have another child within two years says a new study from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. For two years, researchers followed over 200 black American teens (ages 12–18) and found that 46 percent of the respondents showed signs of depression from the beginning of the study. They also found that 120 girls (49 percent) had another pregnancy within two years, and 28 (10 percent) had more than one subsequent pregnancy. The average time between pregnancies was 11.4 months.

“Depression is unhealthy for mothers and their children. Treating maternal depression improves the health and well-being of both,” the authors concluded in their study. “Our findings do not tell us how depression might fit into a casual pathway to repeat adolescent childbearing, but they do suggest that depression may be an important malleable risk factor.”  

Learn more about teen pregnancy at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.