New moms aren’t the only ones who may end up battling depression: Dads can face a similar problem, and those who do are more likely to spank their 1-year-olds, a study finds. Some 40% of depressed fathers reported spanking kids that age, while only 13% of dads who weren’t depressed did so. And most of the fathers had recently been in touch with their child’s pediatrician, meaning they’d missed a chance for help, the AP reports.
Some 7% of dads in total had grappled with depression, the study says; 25% of women suffer from postpartum depression. While some men probably suffered from a history of the illness, for others, it was likely linked to the birth of their children, say the researchers. Leading pediatricians caution against spanking, particularly when kids are just a year old; at that stage, they may get hurt and fail to grasp the link “between their behavior and subsequent punishment,” researchers note.