Friday, March 13th, 2015
It has been proven that a mother’s depression has negative impacts on her children, but research was never done to provide information on whether or not a father’s depression has any effect—until now.
A recent study published online in the journal Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, has linked both mothers’ and fathers’ depression with troubling behaviors in children, in particular toddlers.
Researchers at Northwestern University gathered information from approximately 200 couples with 3-year-olds; the parents had all participated in a depression study at the time of their child’s birth. Each individual filled out a questionnaire that asked about “parental depression, their relationship with their partner, and their child’s internalizing behaviors (sadness, anxiety, jitteriness) and externalizing behaviors (acting out, hitting, lying),” reports Science Daily.
The study concluded that each parent’s level of depression impacted their child’s behaviors both internally and externally, and that paternal postnatal depression had a significant impact on toddler behavior. Depression affected children much more negatively than parental fighting because depressed parents were less likely to make eye contact, smile, bond, or engage with kids.
With this information, doctors may now begin to monitor both parents’ levels of depression—rather than only focusing on a mother’s potential for postpartum depression.
“Father’s emotions affect their children,” said Sheehan Fisher, the study’s lead author. “New fathers should be screened and treated for postpartum depression, just as we do for mothers.”
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
Image: Sad boy via Shutterstock
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adult depression, aggressive behavior, behavioral issues, behavioral problems, child behavior, Child Health, child mental health, children's health, dad depression, depression, father depression, hitting, mental health, misbehavior, paternal postnatal depression, postpartum depression | Categories:
Child Health, New Research, Parenting News, Parents News Now
Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
It’s almost a rite of passage for kids to rebel as they get older, but a new study published online in Pediatrics reveals a reason why some kids can go beyond general misbehavior.
HealthDay reports that young kids with depressed mothers were more likely to smoke, use drugs and alcohol, and engage in violence during their early teens. In fact, children exposed to depression from ages “6 to 10 [were] actually more strongly associated with those risky health behaviors,” says Ian Colman, co-author of the study.
Research for the study was conducted in Canada and started in 1994, with 2,900 pairs of moms and children (ages 2-5) being analyzed. Moms were given a questionnaire to fill out every two years, with questions about their own lives, plus their partners’ and children’s lives. When the kids reached age 10, they were given their own questionnaires to fill out, until they reached age 16 or 17. Their questions focused on substance use, stealing, carrying weapons, fighting, being approached by police, sex, suicide attempts, and other delinquent behaviors.
Data from the decade-long results revealed that 4 percent of the mothers who were depressed were more likely to have troubled teens. Researchers noted that these troubled teens were 1.4 times more to drink, 2 times more likely to smoke, and 3 times more like to use drugs than teens who did not have depressed mothers.
While this study does not prove that a mother’s depression definitely leads to delinquency, as many other factors (such as genetics, parenting styles, and family environments) can affect a child’s development. The study also did not focus on how a father’s depression may affect kids, but Colman believes there is likely a similar correlation between the two factors.
Parents, especially mothers, who are experiencing depression should still get help from a trained medical professional to help alleviate the stress of parenting.
Sherry Huang is a Features Editor for Parents.com who covers baby-related content. She loves collecting children’s picture books and has an undeniable love for cookies of all kinds. Her spirit animal would be Beyoncé Pad Thai. Follow her on Twitter @sherendipitea
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adult depression, childhood depression, delinquency, depression, misbehavior, mom depression, teen depression, teen violence, violence | Categories:
Child Health, New Research, Parents News Now
Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
A new study conducted in Germany is suggesting that being breastfed as an infant may lower a person’s chance of experiencing clinical depression as an adult. FoxNews.com has more:
Researchers looked at 52 people, whose average age was 44, who were being treated for major depression at an inpatient facility, and compared them with 106 healthy people who had never been diagnosed with depression. Participants were considered to have been breast-fed if either they or their mothers said they had nursed for at least two weeks.
Results showed that 73 percent of those without depression had been breast-fed, whereas 46 percent of people with depression were breast-fed. The association held when researchers took into account factors that could affect participants’ risk of depression, such as age, gender and mother’s level of education.
Additionally, the researchers found that how long a person had been breast-fed did not matter in terms of their depression risk.
While the finding suggests a link, it does not suggest a cause-and-effect relationship between breast-feeding and depression, the researchers said.
Image: Mother breastfeeding an infant, via Shutterstock
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