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Postpartum Blues Hit Dads, Too

And those fathers are more likely to spank their young kids: study
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 14, 2011 7:52 AM CDT

(Newser) – 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.

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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. (Read more depression stories.)

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