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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 148

Emotional intelligence, depression, and risk factors in pregnant Peruvian Andean adolescents: A multivariate logistic regression study

1 Professional Obstetrics School, Universidad Peruana del Centro, Huancayo, Peru
2 Department of Academic, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, Lima, Peru
3 Department of Postgraduate, Faculty of Dentistry, Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal, Lima, Peru
4 Department of Postgraduate, Change Research, Working Group, Faculty of Health of Sciences, Universidad Científica del, Sur, Lima, Peru

Date of Submission13-Feb-2021
Date of Acceptance17-Mar-2021
Date of Web Publication28-Nov-2022

Correspondence Address:
Frank Mayta-Tovalino
Department of Postgraduate in Health of Science, Lima
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_710_20

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Background: There has recently been a high increase in the prevalence of adolescent pregnancies, especially in developing countries, because they are considered vulnerable populations. The objective of this study was to determine the risk factors for low emotional intelligence and for depression in pregnant Peruvian Andean adolescents seen in a public health centre. Methods: The study was a correlational analysis of 280 pregnant Peruvian Andean adolescents using logistic regression analysis. Emotional intelligence and depression were considered dependent variables, while independent variables were age, marital status, and education. The instruments used were Beck's Depression Inventory and the BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory: Youth version. The threshold of significance was P < 0.05. Results: Age, marital status, and level of education were not risk factors for lower emotional intelligence, because they had respective ORs of 0.8 (95% CI: 0.5-1.4), 1.6 (95% CI: 0.8-3.4), and 0.7 (95% CI: 0.0-1.1). Nor were they risk factors for depression, showing ORs of 0.8 (95% CI: 0.4-1.5), 0.6 (95% CI: 0.2-1.3), and 0.6 (95% CI: 0.3-1.1), respectively. Conclusions: Thus, the risk factors studied do not significantly influence emotional intelligence or depression in pregnant Peruvian Andean adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent, emotional intelligence, pregnancy

How to cite this article:
Camayo G, León G, Alvítez J, Mendoza R, Temoche A, Munive-Degregori A, Mayta-Tovalino F. Emotional intelligence, depression, and risk factors in pregnant Peruvian Andean adolescents: A multivariate logistic regression study. Int J Prev Med 2022;13:148

How to cite this URL:
Camayo G, León G, Alvítez J, Mendoza R, Temoche A, Munive-Degregori A, Mayta-Tovalino F. Emotional intelligence, depression, and risk factors in pregnant Peruvian Andean adolescents: A multivariate logistic regression study. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 May 30];13:148. Available from: https://www.ijpvmjournal.net/text.asp?2022/13/1/148/362068

  Introduction Top

The adolescent stage occurs after childhood and before adulthood. During this period, the adolescent is able to conceive; likewise, during this period, the adolescent is attracted to the opposite sex, which in many cases is a factor in unwanted pregnancy. According to multiple studies, there is a high prevalence of adolescents who give birth before reaching the age of majority, and this is seen more common in underdeveloped countries where there are poor reproductive health policy programmes.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5]

Adolescent pregnancy is a hard problem in terms of public health given that these pregnancies come about despite the efforts of many institutions in charge of providing guidance and counselling on contraceptive methods, especially in places far from capital cities, where access to basic reproductive health services is difficult. In the pregnant woman, these can include deficiency states (e.g., anaemia), depression, abandonment, loneliness, isolation, and dropping out of school.[6],[7],[8],[9]

An unplanned pregnancy during adolescence leads to psychological disorders such as stress, exasperation, anguish, anger, panic, and sadness, potentially leading to depression.[10],[11],[12] Pregnant adolescents run the risk of suffering serious psychological pathologies, such as sadness or depression, low self-esteem, and broken dreams. If they do not receive support from the family or environment, and even if they have suffered aggression within the family, the adolescents, if they have enough emotional intelligence, will be able to face their problems and solve them while always looking ahead to the future.[13],[14],[15]

The purpose of this study was to determine the risk factors related to emotional intelligence and depression in pregnant Peruvian Andean adolescents seen in a public health centre.

  Methods Top

  Participants in the study Top

This study was descriptive, prospective, and correlational in design. It was carried out during the months of February and June 2019 in the city of Huancayo, Peru. The sample was calculated based on the data obtained in a pilot study using the ratio comparison formula. Stata® 15 software was used with α = 0.05 and β = 0.8. A total of 280 pregnant adolescents were selected by simple random sampling from the public health centre of the city of Huancayo. This research was performed following the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guidelines. Emotional dependence and depression were dependent variables, while the independent variables (risk factors) were age (X1), marital status (X2), and education (X3).

Inclusion criteria:

  • Pregnant adolescents between 11 and 17 years of age treated at the Pedro Sánchez Meza Health Centre, Huancayo, Peru.
  • Pregnant adolescents who agreed to be surveyed with prior consent or authorization.
  • First-time adolescent mothers.

Exclusion criteria

  • Pregnant women older than 19 years of age
  • Pregnant girls <11 years of age.


To calibrate the researchers for this study, a pilot study was conducted in a sample of n = 30 pregnant adolescents. The researchers were trained in the use of the measuring instruments so that they could inform and convey the same message to all participants when filling out the surveys. Cohen's kappa coefficient test was used, and it had a value of 0.8 with P < 0.001.

Emotional intelligence

BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory: Youth version. This questionnaire was applied in person, over approximately 15 minutes. It is composed of 30 questions that are distributed in five dimensions: Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Adaptability, Stress management, and Mood. Each question is answered on a Likert scale with the following response options: Very rarely, 4 points; rarely, 3 points; often, 2 points; very often, 1 point. The overall score is measured as follows: Low, <73 points; medium, 74–79 points; and high: >80 points.


To evaluate depression, Beck's Depression Inventory was used. This instrument was applied to pregnant adolescents and was composed of 21 indicative items through which it is possible to recognize and determine the signs and symptoms of depression. Indicative items are the symptoms suffered, such as pessimism, sadness, feelings of disappointment and of crime or guilt, and suicidal ideation. Each item has a score of 4 points, with the exception of questions 16 and 18, which are composed of 7 variables; if the pregnant woman selects different categories, the category with the highest score is validated. The minimum score is 0, and the maximum is 63. The outcomes are categorized as follows: No depression, score 0 to 9; mild depression, 10 to 18; moderate depression, 19 to 29; and severe depression, >30.

Ethical aspects

The study was reviewed and approved in December 2019 by the Ethics Committee of UPeCEN through resolution No. 012-IFI/R-UPeCEN.

Statistical analysis

For the univariate analysis, statistical frequency tables were developed for the qualitative variables mentioned above. Second, for the bivariate analysis, the relationship between emotional intelligence and depression in pregnant Peruvian Andean adolescents was determined. This relationship was defined through the Chi-squared test. In addition, the probability of risk was identified using the odds ratio (OR). The level of significance was P < 0.05.

  Results Top

According to the sociodemographic characteristics of the pregnant Andean adolescents, the age of 15 years was the most prevalent, at 97 (34.6%), while there was only one pregnant woman aged 13 (0.3%). The majority (219, 78.2%) of the adolescents were unmarried. Finally, according to educational level, 123 (43.9%) pregnant women had only a secondary education [Table 1].
Table 1: Sociodemographic characteristics of pregnant Andean adolescents

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When determining the relationship of risk factors with emotional intelligence, we found that the variables age (X1), marital status (X2), and education (X3) were not risk factors, because they had ORs of 0.8 (95% CI: 0.5-1.4), 1.6 (95% CI: 0.8-3.4), and 0.7 (95% CI: 0.0-1.1), respectively (all P > 0.05) [Table 2].
Table 2: Emotional intelligence and risk factors in pregnant Peruvian Andean adolescents

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In determining the relationship of risk factors with depression, it was found that the variables age (X1), marital status (X2) and level of education (X3) were not risk factors either, because they had ORs of 0.8 (95% CI: 0.4-1.5), 0.6 (95% CI: 0.2-1.3), and 0.6 (95% CI: 0.3-1.1), respectively (all P > 0.05) [Table 3].
Table 3: Depression and risk factors in pregnant Peruvian Andean adolescents

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  Discussion Top

Adolescent pregnancy is considered an enigma in public health worldwide and occurs more often in low-income countries, especially in high plains where accessibility to health services is almost zero. This problem also afflicts developed nations. For example, in countries of the African continent, their adolescent population suffers from this problem, putting their lives at risk because the adolescent during pregnancy is exposed to serious pathologies of psychological origin, such as sadness or depression and shattered self-esteem and dreams.[16],[17],[18] Faced with this problem, a pregnant woman possessing some degree of emotional intelligence could mitigate this pathology. The benefit of possessing adequate emotional intelligence helps the pregnant mother resolve her problems, keep control of her emotions, seek to resolve her dilemmas, and in the end manage the circumstances she is going through well.[5],[6],[12]

A clear example is the study by Pires et al.[1] who evaluated the impact of maternal depression on the mental health of children born to adolescent mothers using a logistic regression analysis. They found that the longer the maternal depression was, the greater the probability that the child would experience behavioural problems. This suggests that investments in strategies to prevent mental disorders that begin during the gestation period are very important to reduce this impact. Reyes et al.[2] verified the association between maternal depression and emotional and behavioural problems in school children in southern Brazil, finding that maternal depression increased the vulnerability of children to develop psychiatric disorders. In remote areas of lower socioeconomic status, they also showed a correlation between maternal depression and emotional and behavioural problems, which demonstrates the need for preventive child mental health care and free quality childcare for adolescent mothers and their children. On the other hand, Bilginer et al.[8] evaluated the sociodemographic characteristics of adolescent mothers in Turkey, as well as comparing their traumatic childhood experiences and their levels of depression and anxiety with those of adult mothers, finding that the initial psychiatric evaluation of adolescent mothers who stay pregnant could reflect their level of psychiatric well-being. They concluded that additional policies related to the prevention of adolescent pregnancy and the monitoring of adolescent mothers should be developed in Turkey.

According to the results of Cruise et al.[3] untreated maternal depression during the postpartum period can have a profound impact on psychological and physical well-being in the short and long term. Therefore, there is a need for a greater understanding of the risk factors for depression and better access to medical care to treat depression during this period. In addition, their results highlighted the prevalence of maternal depression in the postpartum period, particularly for the lowest socioeconomic groups, those with previous mental health problems, and those with limited social support. These results differ from those of the present study because we did not find a statistically significant influence of any factors on depression or emotional intelligence in the adolescent mothers. These differences were probably seen because the populations evaluated in other studies have generally been in developed countries, whereas we evaluated Peruvian Andean adolescents with limited economic resources.

The main limitation of this study was the scarce literature on emotional intelligence and depression in pregnant women in rural Andean areas, which makes it difficult to compare results. Another limitation is that the methodological design of this study was cross-sectional, so there was no follow-up over time. Finally, there was the limitation of working with adolescents who, owing to being pregnant, are considered a vulnerable population, so great care should be taken when evaluating them. The present study is of theoretical importance since pregnancy during adolescence and depression are currently public health problems not only associated with organic disorders of the mother but also sociocultural and economic factors that compromise the mother–child pair. Another important aspect of this study is its practical relevance because it allows the identification of a relationship between emotional intelligence and depression in pregnant adolescents living in Andean areas.

  Conclusions Top

According to this logistic regression analysis in pregnant Andean adolescents, it was not evident that age, marital status, or educational level is a statistically significant risk factor for emotional intelligence or depression.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Pires AJ, de Matos MB, Scholl CC, Trettim JP, Coelho FT, da Cunha Coelho FM, et al. Prevalence of mental health problems in preschoolers and the impact of maternal depression. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2020;29:605-16.  Back to cited text no. 1
Reyes AN, de Lima Bach S, do Amaral PL, Jansen K, Molina MRAL, Spessato BC, et al. Emotional and behavioral problems in children of depressed mothers: A school-based study in Southern Brazil. Psychol Health Med 2019;24:14-20.  Back to cited text no. 2
Cruise SM, Layte R, Stevenson M, O'Reilly D. Prevalence and factors associated with depression and depression-related healthcare access in mothers of 9-month-old infants in the Republic of Ireland. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci 2018;27:468-78  Back to cited text no. 3
Agnafors S, Sydsjö G, Dekeyser L, Svedin CG. Symptoms of depression postpartum and 12 years later-associations to child mental health at 12 years of age. Atern Child Health J 2013;17:405-14.  Back to cited text no. 4
Tao H, Shao T, Ni L, Sun Y, Yan S, Gu C, et al. [The relationship between maternal emotional symptoms during pregnancy and emotional and behavioral problems in preschool children: A birth cohort study]. Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi 2016;50:129-35.  Back to cited text no. 5
Kun B, Urbán R, Paksi B, Griffiths MD, Richman MJ, Demetrovics Z. The effects of trait emotional intelligence on adolescent substance use: Findings from a Hungarian representative survey. Front Psychiatry 2019;10:367.  Back to cited text no. 6
MacGinty RP, Kariuki SM, Barnett W, Wedderburn CJ, Hardy A, Hoffman N, et al. Associations of antenatal maternal psychological distress with infant birth and development outcomes: Results from a South African birth cohort. Compr Psychiatry 2019;96:152128.  Back to cited text no. 7
Bilginer C, Bag O, Cekin Yilmaz B. Traumatic childhood experiences and psychiatric outcomes of adolescent mothers in Turkey. J Child Sex Abus 2020;29:531-49.  Back to cited text no. 8
Donald KA, Wedderburn CJ, Barnett W, Nhapi RT, Rehman AM, Stadler JAM, et al. Risk and protective factors for child development: An observational South African birth cohort. PLoS Med 2019;16:e1002920.  Back to cited text no. 9
Mudra S, Göbel A, Barkmann C, Goletzke J, Hecher K, Schulte-Markwort M, et al. The longitudinal course of pregnancy-related anxiety in parous and nulliparous women and its association with symptoms of social and generalized anxiety. J Affect Disord 2020;260:111-8.  Back to cited text no. 10
Caputo VG, Bordin IA. [Mental health problems among pregnant and non-pregnant youth]. Rev Saude Publica 2007;1:573-81.  Back to cited text no. 11
Haabrekke K, Siqveland T, Nygaaard E, Bjornebekk A, Slinning K, Wentzel-Larsen T, et al. Cognitive and socioemotional functioning at 4½ years in children born to mothers who have received treatment for substance-abuse problems while pregnant. Infant Ment Health J 2018;39:581-94.  Back to cited text no. 12
Giurgescu C, Templin TN. Father Involvement and psychological well-being of pregnant women. MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs 2015;40:381-7.  Back to cited text no. 13
Webb R, Ayers S. Cognitive biases in processing infant emotion by women with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in pregnancy or after birth: A systematic review. Cogn Emot 2015;29:1278-94.  Back to cited text no. 14
Sacks RM, Greene J, Burke R, Owen EC. Mental health care among low-income pregnant women with depressive symptoms: Facilitators and barriers to care access and the effectiveness of financial incentives for increasing care. Adm Policy Ment Health 2015;42:484-92.  Back to cited text no. 15
Balami AD, Said SM, Zulkefli NAM, Norsa'adah B, Audu B. Knowledge, motivation, self-efficacy, and their association with insecticidal net use among pregnant women in a secondary health centre in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Malar J 2018;17:359.  Back to cited text no. 16
Berhane Y, Canavan CR, Darling AM, Sudfeld CR, Vuai S, Adanu R, et al. The age of opportunity: Prevalence of key risk factors among adolescents 10-19 years of age in nine communities in sub-Saharan Africa. Trop Med Int Health 2020;25:15-32.  Back to cited text no. 17
Fırtına Tuncer S, Timur B, Yalvaç ES, Mollamahmutoğlu L. Predictors of adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes in a refugee population from an active conflict country, Syria. Turk J Obstet Gynecol 2019;16:174-9.  Back to cited text no. 18


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]


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