Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Young dads at high risk of depression, too

Date:
April 14, 2014
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
This study is the first to identify when young fathers are at increased risk of developing depressive symptoms. The lead author of the paper said the results of this longitudinal study are significant and could lead to more effective interventions and treatment for young men early in the fatherhood years.

Depression can hit young fathers hard -- with symptoms increasing dramatically during some of the most important years of their children's lives, a new Northwestern Medicineฎ study has found.

Related Articles


Depressive symptoms increased on average by 68 percent over the first five years of fatherhood for these young men, who were around 25 years old when they became fathers and whom lived in the same home as their children. The results of the study were published April 14 in the journal Pediatrics.

This study is the first to identify when young fathers are at increased risk of developing depressive symptoms. Craig Garfield, M.D., lead author of the paper, said the results of this longitudinal study are significant and could lead to more effective interventions and treatment for young men early in the fatherhood years.

"It's not just new moms who need to be screened for depression, dads are at risk, too," Garfield said. "Parental depression has a detrimental effect on kids, especially during those first key years of parent-infant attachment. We need to do a better job of helping young dads transition through that time period."

Garfield is an associate professor in pediatrics and medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a pediatrician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Previous research has shown depressed dads will use more corporal punishment, read less and interact less with their children, and are more likely to be stressed and neglect their children. Compared to the children of non-depressed dads, these children are at risk for having poor language and reading development and more behavior problems and conduct disorders.

"We knew paternal depression existed and the detrimental effects it has on children, but we did not know where to focus our energy and our attention until this study," Garfield said. "This is a wakeup call for anyone who knows a young man who has recently become a new father. Be aware of how he is doing during his transition into fatherhood. If he is feeling extreme anxiety or blues, or not able to enjoy things in life as he previously did, encourage him to get help."

This paper used data collected from 10,623 young men enrolled in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). It includes a nationally representative sample of adolescents in the U.S. and follows them in several waves over nearly 20 years into young adulthood. All participants' symptoms of depression were scored at each wave through a survey using a subset of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.

During the most recent wave of the Add Health study, the young men were age 24 to 32, and 33 percent had become fathers.

The majority of these fathers lived in the same home as their children. Young fathers who did not live with their children did not experience such a dramatic increase in depressive symptom scores in early fatherhood, the study found. Instead, these non-residential fathers' depression symptom scores were elevated before fatherhood and start to decrease during early fatherhood, though this sample is smaller in number. Residential fathers' depression symptom scores were lower before fatherhood and then dramatically increased after the birth of a child and into early fatherhood.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. The original article was written by Erin White. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Craig Garfield et al. A Longitudinal Study of Paternal Mental Health During Transition to Fatherhood as Young Adults. Pediatrics, April 2014 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-3262

Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Young dads at high risk of depression, too." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414123814.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2014, April 14). Young dads at high risk of depression, too. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414123814.htm
Northwestern University. "Young dads at high risk of depression, too." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414123814.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) — Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins