Major paternal depression and child consultation for developmental and behavioural problems

Senior, Rob, Davé, Shreya, Sherr, Lorraine and Nazareth, Irwin (2009) Major paternal depression and child consultation for developmental and behavioural problems. British Journal of General Practice, 59 (560). pp. 180-185. ISSN Print ISSN: 0960-1643 ; Online ISSN: 1478- 5242. Full text available

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Abstract

Background: It is well established that maternal depression is associated with enhanced child consultation for developmental and behaviour problems, but there is a dearth of research on paternal depression and child outcome. Aim: To assess the association of major paternal depressed mood and child consultation for developmental and behaviour problems. Design of study: Cross-sectional study. Setting: General practices in London and Hertfordshire, UK. Method: Fathers of children aged 4–6 years were recruited via 13 general practices. A sample of 248 biological father and mother dyads completed measures on depressive syndrome (Patient Health Questionnaire), child consultations with health professionals for developmental and behaviour problems, fathering, couple relationship quality, alcohol misuse, other psychiatric impairment, and sociodemographic factors. Results: Eight out of 248 fathers (3%) had a major depressive syndrome. Sixty-five out of 247 (26%) fathers reported they were responsible for taking their child to see the doctor at least half the time compared with mothers. Children of fathers with a major depressive syndrome were almost nine times more likely to have consulted a health professional for speech and language problems (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 8.67, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.99 to 37.67, P = 0.004) and seven times more likely to have consulted for externalising behaviour problems (adjusted OR = 6.98, 95% CI = 1.00 to 48.76, P = 0.05). Conclusion: Children of fathers with major depression were more likely to consult for speech and language problems and externalising behaviour problems. A longitudinal study is recommended to identify causal mechanisms.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Research & Development Unit
Subjects: Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Behaviour Disorders
Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Depression
Families > Father Child Relations
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2661

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