Stuff.co.nz 10 Nov 2011
Kids with depressed dads are more likely to have emotional and behavioural problems than those whose fathers don’t have the blues, according to a new study of more than 20,000 families. “We’ve known for a long time that depression in mothers is associated with increased risk in kids – I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. It’s been less clear in fathers,” said Jeremy Pettit, a psychologist from Florida International University in Miami who wasn’t involved in the new research. “We’re in a position now to say, ‘Yes, this confirms what we’ve suspected all along,'” he told Reuters Health. Kids were most likely to have behavioural problems when both parents felt down, researchers reported Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The findings, they say, point to the need for pediatricians and schools to be aware of depression in dads – and not just depressed mums – and the potential consequences in kids.
…One of the main takeaways for Weitzman is how infrequently researchers have looked into the impact of depression in dads – and then, only in small reports. By contrast, they have been piling up data on how having a depressed mum is linked to behavioural and emotional problems.