ASK OUR EXPERTS

Choose Topic
Using 0 of 1024 Possible characters
Home »  Emotions »  Depressed fathers likely to spank

Depressed fathers likely to spank

Depressed fathers are more likely to shortchange their children and use physical punishment, even on tots who are still crawling.

Depressed fathers likely to spank

Depressed fathers are more likely to shortchange their children and use physical punishment, even on tots who are still crawling.

With so much emphasis on maternal postpartum depression, the fact that transition to parenthood is stressful for men also is generally overlooked. Depressive symptoms in dads may affect the way they interact with their child in negative ways.

In order to determine whether depressed fathers are more likely to engage in unhealthy parenting behaviour, researchers evaluated data supplied by 1,746 American fathers of 1-year-olds who participated in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. This long-running study is following nearly 5,000 children born in large U.S. cities between 1998 and 2000. Fathers, who lived with their children all or most of the time, were asked about four behaviours, both positive and negative. The men were questioned about depression symptoms, spanking, and interactions with their kids like playing games, singing songs, and reading stories to them at least three days in a typical week.

Overall, 7 percent of the fathers were found to have had a depressive episode within the first year of the child's life and nearly half of the sad fathers had directed their frustration onto their infants. Depressed fathers were nearly four times as likely to report spanking their child in the past month, with 41 percent of depressed fathers and 13 percent of non-depressed fathers doing so. Depressed fathers were also less than half as likely to report reading stories to their children three or more times a week compared to non-depressed dads. There were no differences in the fathers' reporting of playing games or singing songs, whether depressed or not.

The above study found an association but not a cause and effect relationship between depression and paternal behaviour. Irritability often accompanies depression, which could explain the greater incidence of spanking. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) opposes striking a child for any reason, and says spanking can lead to agitation and aggression in preschool and school children. Urging parents to use time-outs or other means of discipline, the AAP warns that spanking in children less than 18 months of age raises the risk of injuring them. It also cautions that in older children, frequent spanking is associated with a high risk of violence.

The significance of depression in new fathers has gained attention in recent years and this study adds more weight to this emerging awareness. Experts recognise a father's mental health can affect child development and well-being given that fathers play an integral role in child care. By reducing positive interactions and amplifying negative interactions, paternal depression may be adversely impacting children's health and development as well as father-child relationship formation early in children's lives. The researchers conclude that the field of pediatrics is now faced with finding ways to support fathers in their parenting roles much in the same way they support mothers.
COMMENT

DoctorNDTV is the one stop site for all your health needs providing the most credible health information, health news and tips with expert advice on healthy living, diet plans, informative videos etc. You can get the most relevant and accurate info you need about health problems like diabetes, cancer, pregnancy, HIV and AIDS, weight loss and many other lifestyle diseases. We have a panel of over 350 experts who help us develop content by giving their valuable inputs and bringing to us the latest in the world of healthcare.

Was this Article Helpful Yes or No

................... Advertisement ...................

 

FAQ

ASK OUR EXPERTS

Using 0 of 1024 Possible characters
Choose Topic

................... Advertisement ...................

--------------------------------Advertisement---------------------------------- -