A Prospective Study of Postnatal Depressive Symptoms and Associated Risk Factors in First-Time Fathers.

Journal Name
Journal of Affective Disorders
Journal Volume
249
Page Count
6
Year Published
2019
Author (Individual)
Da Costa
Deborah
Danieli
Coraline
Abrahamowicz
Michal
Dasgupta
Kaberi
Sewitch
Maida
Lowensteyn
Ilka
Zelkowi
Phyllis.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
PDF
Resource Language
English
Recent studies show that paternal depression negatively impacts children's behavioral and emotional development. This study determined the prevalence of depressed mood in first-time fathers at 2 and 6 months postpartum and identified associated risk factors. A prospective cohort study with 622 men who completed sociodemographic and psychosocial questionnaires during their partner's third trimester of pregnancy. Fathers completed measures again at 2 and 6 months postpartum and partners completed the depressed mood measure at all three timepoints. A cutoff of ≥10 for the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale identified depressed mood status. The prevalence of depressive symptoms in fathers was 13.76% at 2 months and 13.60% at 6 months postpartum. Men who were depressed during their partner's pregnancy were 7 times more likely to be depressed at 2 months postpartum. Depressed mood status at both the antenatal and 2-month postpartum assessment was associated with increased risk of depressed mood at 6 months postpartum. Older age, poor sleep quality at study entry, worse couple adjustment, having a partner experiencing antenatal depressive symptoms and elevated parental stress were associated with depressive symptoms at 2 months postpartum. Poor sleep quality, financial stress and a decline in couple adjustment were independently associated to depressive symptoms at 6 months postpartum. This sample was fairly well-educated and predominately middle-class. Depressive symptoms were assessed using a self-report questionnaire. The psychosocial risk factors identified provide opportunities for early screening and targeted prevention strategies for fathers at risk for depression during the transition to parenthood. 
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