Paternal depression and its impact on parenting

January 01, 0001

Paternal depression and its impact on parenting

The has been a lot of emphasis on screening for maternal depression, and appropriately so. These US researchers looked at depression in fathers of young children and compared this to various parenting behaviors. They performed a cross-sectional secondary analysis of interview data from fathers of 1-year-old children in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (n=1746), assessing depression via the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short Form. Analyses were controlled for demographics and paternal substance abuse.

The researchers found: "Overall, 7% of fathers had depression. In bivariate analyses, depressed fathers were more likely than nondepressed fathers to report spanking their 1-year-old children in the previous month (41% compared with 13%). In multivariate analyses, depressed fathers were less likely to report reading to their children 3 days in a typical week (adjusted odds ratio: 0.38) and much more likely to report spanking (adjusted odds ratio: 3.92). Seventy-seven percent of depressed fathers reported talking to their children's doctor in the previous year. "

The researchers concluded: "Paternal depression is associated with parenting behaviors relevant to well-child visits. Pediatric providers should consider screening fathers for depression, discussing specific parenting behaviors (eg, reading to children and appropriate discipline), and referring for treatment if appropriate."

This study sheds light on paternal depression and its impact on parenting.

For the full abstract, click here.

Pediatrics 127(4):612-618, April 2011
© 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics
Fathers' Depression Related to Positive and Negative Parenting Behaviors With 1-Year-Old Children. R. Neal Davis, Matthew M. Davis, Gary L. Freed, Sarah J. Clark.

Category: P. Psychological. Keywords: depression, father, parenting, reading, spanking, cross-sectional study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 10 May 2011

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