Depression is one of the most common mental health issues in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than six million men in the United States have depression in a given year and studies indicate that at least 10 percent of fathers are depressed both before and after their children are born. This brief provides an overview of previous research about men and depression, identifies factors associated with fathers’ risk of depression during the first year of their child’s life, and offers tips on how fatherhood programs can help fathers identify and address symptoms of depression. Drawing on original analyses from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study, key findings indicate that fathers are more likely to be depressed when they:
• Do not have full-time employment.
• Live apart from their children.
• Have children with two or more women.
• Have been incarcerated.
By helping fathers deal with these and other issues, fatherhood programs can also help support fathers who suffer from depression and improve the well-being of children and families. (Author abstract)
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