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Father absence: effects on child and maternal psychopathology.

Abstract

The effects of fathers' absences during the previous year on 213 military children were examined, using multiple measures of children's functioning and psychiatric symptoms. Children whose fathers had been absent 1 or more months during the previous 12 months experienced significantly higher self-reported depression and anxiety, but these symptoms were not apparent to adult observers (parents and teachers). These effects were not demonstrated when maternal psychiatric symptoms and intercurrent family stressors were controlled. Thus, the effects of father absence under routine conditions in relatively healthy samples may exert no significant effects independent of intervening family stressors or maternal psychopathology. Clinic referrals of children during times of father absence may partly be due to an effect of additional stressors impacting on the mother during the absence of the father.

Comment in

  • Father absence and depression. [J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1989]
PMID:
2925568
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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