Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Characteristics of fathers with depressive symptoms

24.02.2012
Voluminous research literature attests to the multiple negative consequences of maternal depression and depressive symptoms for the health and development of children.

In contrast, there is a profound paucity of information about depressive symptoms in fathers according to a follow up study by NYU School of Medicine researchers in the February 23rd online edition of Maternal and Child Health Journal.

In late 2011 lead investigator, Michael Weitzman, MD, professor of Pediatrics and Environmental Medicine and his co-authors identified, for the first time ever, in a large and nationally representative sample, increased rates of mental health problems of children whose fathers had depressive symptoms. In that paper, 6% of children with neither a mother or a father with depressive symptoms, 15% of those with a father, 20% of those with a mother, and 25% of children with both a mother and a father with depressive symptoms had evidence of emotional or behavioral problems.

"While the finding of increased rates of mental health problems among children whose fathers had depressive symptoms was not surprising in our earlier study, the fact that no prior large scale studies had investigated this issue is truly remarkable, as is the finding that one out of every four children with both a mother and a father with symptoms of depression have mental health problems" said Weitzman. He also noted that the findings highlighted "the urgent need to recognize the roles of fathers in the lives of children and families in clinical and public policy formulation and implementation, to further explore ways in which the mental health of fathers influence the health and function of our nation's children, and to structure our health and human services so as to identify and effectively treat fathers who are depressed or suffering from other mental health problems. A first step is to identify which of our nation's fathers are at increased risk for depression, which is the main reason that we undertook the current study"

The current paper, again using a large and nationally representative sample of households in the USA (7,247 households in which mothers, fathers and children lived), is the first paper to investigate characteristics of fathers that are independently associated with increased rates of depressive symptoms. Overall, 6% of all fathers had scores suggesting that they were suffering from depressive symptoms.

Using previously widely used measures of fathers', mothers' and children's physical and mental health, as well as numerous other family and child characteristics, such as maternal and paternal age, race, marital status, and educational attainment, as well as child age, these data demonstrate the following factors being independently associated with increased rates of fathers' depressive symptoms: living in poverty (1.5 times as common as not living in poverty); living with a child with special health care needs (1.4 times as common); living with a mother with depressive symptoms (5.75 times as common); poor paternal physical health (3.31 times as common) and paternal unemployment (6.50 times as common).

While the findings of poverty, having a child with special health care needs, and living with a mother with depressive symptoms are not unexpected, the fact that fathers' unemployment is by far the strongest predictor of depressive symptoms is a brand new, and unique finding with profound implications for the health and development of children in this time of extremely high rates of unemployment.

"The findings reported in the current paper demonstrate factors that could help identify fathers who might benefit from clinical screening for depression, and we believe the results are particularly salient given the current financial crisis and concurrent increase in unemployment in the USA" said Dr. Weitzman. "Also of serious concern is the fact that living with a mother who herself has depressive symptoms is almost associated with almost as large an increased rate of paternal depressive symptoms as is paternal unemployment. Fathers play profoundly important roles in the lives of children and families, and are all too often forgotten in our efforts to help children. These new findings, we hope, will be useful to much needed efforts to develop strategies to identify and treat the very large number of fathers with depression."

Co-authors include David G. Rosenthal, BA, Nicole Learned, BA, Ying Hua Liu, MD, MPH and Michael Weitzman, MD, Department of Pediatrics, all of the NYU School of Medicine

NYU School of Medicine provided funding for this study.

About NYU Langone Medical Center

NYU Langone Medical Center, a world-class, patient-centered, integrated, academic medical center, is one on the nation's premier centers for excellence in clinical care, biomedical research and medical education. Located in the heart of Manhattan, NYU Langone is composed of three hospitals – Tisch Hospital, its flagship acute care facility; the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, the world's first university-affiliated facility devoted entirely to rehabilitation medicine; and the Hospital for Joint Diseases, one of only five hospitals in the nation dedicated to orthopaedics and rheumatology – plus the NYU School of Medicine, which since 1841 has trained thousands of physicians and scientists who have helped to shape the course of medical history. The medical center's tri-fold mission to serve, teach and discover is achieved 365 days a year through the seamless integration of a culture devoted to excellence in patient care, education and research. For more information, go to www.NYULMC.org.

Lorinda Klein | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nyumc.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>