One in 10 fathers suffer from post-natal depression, study finds

Posted on February 12, 2015

While fathers are still far less likely than mothers to experience post-natal depression, there is a growing realisation that it is an important issue for men too, new research from the Australian Institute of Family Studies shows.

The transition to fatherhood and the early years of raising children are a time when men are at substantially increased risk of psychological distress, Australian Institute of Family Studies deputy director Dr Daryl Higgins said.

"It's a very positive thing that fathers are much more engaged with child rearing, but if a father is experiencing mental health issues it is potentially a double-edged sword," Dr Higgins said.

"Some men struggle to come to terms with the reality of pregnancy and the need to support their partner through the childbirth process, leading to stress among expectant fathers."

There are parenting implications for fathers who have mental health disorders. They are more likely to show low levels of engagement and warmth towards their children, and may not monitor them appropriately.

Their children are more likely to have behavioural problems and psychiatric disorders.

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Category(s):Men's Issues, Parenting

Source material from The Sydney Morning Herald