The Age (Aust) 7 Dec 2011
Postnatal depression in men could cause emotional and behavioural problems in their children, according to an Australian study that experts say shows fathers need to be checked for the condition. The study of more than 2600 families found that children whose fathers experienced depression when they were born were three times as likely as children without depressed fathers to have behaviour problems when they were between four and five. The study leader, Richard Fletcher, said the research found maternal and paternal postnatal depression often occurred at the same time, creating a ”worst case scenario” for their children. The study, published today in The Medical Journal of Australia, found that the 1.3 per cent of fathers experienced symptoms of depression when their children were born, compared with 2.6 per cent of mothers.