Postpartum Depression a Risk for Dads, Too

New study finds that young first-time fathers are particularly at risk

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 15, 2014 12:12 PM CDT

(Newser) – Postpartum depression is a risk not just for new moms, but also for new dads—particularly young ones, a new study finds. The Northwestern Medicine study found that first-time fathers around age 25 who lived with their children had a 68% increase in depression symptoms during their first five years of parenthood, Time reports. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, looked at 10,623 men who were tracked for about 20 years as part of a separate study.

"It’s not just new moms who need to be screened for depression," says the pediatrician who led the study. "Dads are at risk, too." He says the study could lead to better intervention and treatment for young fathers, which is important—other studies show that depressed dads are more likely to use corporal punishment or neglect their kids, and less likely to interact with their kids. Those kids, studies have found, are then at risk for more behavior problems and academic problems than children of non-depressed fathers, Psych Central reports.

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