Depression in Fathers Negative for Child’s Health and Development

According to a study conducted by the researchers at the University of Michigan Health System, depressed fathers have negative effect on the health and development of their young children. They are four time more likely to spank their kids than non-depressed dads. Fathers with depression problems are also less likely to read to the kids.

The data collected from about 1,746 fathers with one-year children was studied by the researchers. The participants were asked how often they played with their kids, sang and read to them. They also had to answer if they had spanked the children in the previous month. They were also asked whether they had met and spoken to the medical provider of their children. The participants were assessed for depression. It was observed that 7% fathers suffered from depression. 41% depressed fathers read to their children thrice a week compared to 58% non-depressed fathers who did so. 41% depressed fathers had hit their children the previous month.

According to Sarah Clark, one of the authors of the study, it is a known fact that mother’s depression affects parenting behavior. However, this study established that depression among fathers also affects the way they interact with their kids. The study is published in the journal Pediatrics.

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