Sad Beat Depressed Dad

Learn how I beat Depression

The effects of having a depressed father figure in the home can be detrimental to the development of the child. It affects the young life on a health level also.

That is physical health with the depressed fathers being almost four times as likely to smack their children as non-depressed fathers are. That is the physical end of things, on a developmental level the results of a new study by University of Michigan Health Systems noted that these depressed fathers are also far less likely to aid their children in the learning process by reading to their children. Former fellow at Michigan’s Child Health and Evaluation Research Unit, R. Neal Davis headed up the survey team. He is now a practicing pediatrician

Having taken close to 2000 fathers of 12 month old children in the study named ‘Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, they asked the fathers for details in how they related to their children. Fathers were asked to recount how much they played with, read, sang with, and spanked their children. It was all down to the past month period to add weight and value to the amassed figures.

In the same assessment the fathers were determined to be with or without symptoms relating to depression. Of the almost 2000 fathers in the survey some 7% of them reported to be suffering from depression in some way. The signs and the reports showed that of those 7% there was a 17% less chance that the fathers read to their children than in the non-depression symptomatic fathers. The more startling result the study unearthed was whilst only 12% of the fathers studied had spanked their children overall, within the depressed section over 40% of the fathers had hit their child in the previous month.

“The effect of mothers’ depression on parenting behaviors has been well established,” was stated by Sarah Clark, senior author of this study. “This study is important because it demonstrates that depression in fathers has very tangible effects on how those fathers interact with their young children.”

With the findings comes an important trigger that shows action was being sought by the depressed fathers with a substantial majority of the depressed fathers having spoken with the doctor of their child over the previous 12 month period. Here the researchers determined that there is a good chance that help can be found for fathers, as they are already in a good environment where help can be enlisted, and of course with that appropriate treatment for their depression.

Learn how I beat Depression

1 Comment

  1. Cathy
    Posted March 25, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    My own father’s depression pervaded childhood and indeed all my life. I feel a desperate sadness for the loss of childhood, relationships and any sense of a happy normal family life. It has affected every aspect of my life and I try so hard not to pass it on to my children but deep down I know they too suffer from having a Mum who is so sad. We try to create a positive environment but sometimes it is impossible to hide the grief. Depression is a curse down the generations.

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