Increased depression risk for younger fathers
The emotion that a person feels when becoming a parent for the first time can be very overwhelming, added to that if that person is younger. According to a recent study published in Pediatrics, post-birth depression might not only be an issue that young mothers might experience. Although, experts have stated that this study does not suggest that fathers are predestined to become depressed, but the situation the y experience might trigger depression.
The study was lead by the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The reason of the study was brought to the forefront because not until recently have there been, young men who become fathers are going through situations that could result in depression.
The study has detailed that the average symptoms of depression increased by a considerable 68%. This increment of the symptoms take place over the first five years of fatherhood in men who are around 25 years old when they became fathers and live with their children. Paternal depression affects up to 10% of fathers in that population, and the study has shown that African American and Hispanic fathers display higher levels of depressive signs. Also the study showed that fathers who don’t live with their children experience higher levels of depressive symptoms prior on entering fatherhood but, they do not experience them as much during the first five years of their children’s birth.
Parental depression can affect directly the upbringing of a child during their early years. Previous studies on depressed fathers detailed that they are more prone to use corporal punishment, have less interaction with their children, and have tendencies to neglect them. Children of a depressed father are more at risk of having language development issues and tendencies to display behavioral problems and/or conduct disorders.
The experts leading this investigation say that the results urge for further research and involvement on the topic of mental health of fathers. This as depression on their parents has a detriment affect on children, even more so during the first crucial years of parent-child attachment. There is a very close correlation between the stability of the parent and the child, researchers say, and the transition into fatherhood can be overwhelming to say the least. They also stressed that it is very important to begin to consider the way parents mental health is considered and viewed, not just for the sake of the parents, but ultimately for the sake of the children.