Depressed Dads Make Kids Less Literate

Sad fathers don't read as much to babies, whose vocabs suffer
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2008 1:20 PM CDT
Happier fathers tend to read to their kids more than depressed dads, and the effect shows up in the tots' vocabulary by the time they're 2.   (Flickr)
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(Newser) – About 10% of new fathers show signs of clinical depression—a rate twice that of other men—and that can have a noticeable effect on their children, an American Psychiatric Association study finds. Sad dads interact less with their progeny, which means less bedtime reading and a smaller vocabulary by age 2, reports USA Today.

It's well documented that mothers' depression affects the academic performance of their kids, but with fathers taking on more child care, experts say, their parenting can have a big influence. "There aren't any secrets from babies," one psychiatrist says. "They absorb the feelings around them."