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Clin Psychol Rev. 2004 Jul;24(3):339-60.

The relations among depression in fathers, children's psychopathology, and father-child conflict: a meta-analysis.

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Vanderbilt University, Peabody 512, 230 Appleton Place, Nashville, TN 37203-5701, USA.


Research on parental depression is beginning to recognize the importance of studying fathers in relation to maladaptive outcomes in their offspring. Paternal depression is hypothesized to correlate with internalizing and externalizing psychopathology in children and adolescents and to compromise adaptive parent-child relationships (e.g., increased conflict). In the present paper, meta-analytic procedures were applied to this literature to address the magnitude and direction of covariation between paternal depression and children's functioning. In addition, we tested whether variation in findings could be accounted for by study characteristics. Results indicated that paternal depression was significantly related to offspring internalizing and externalizing psychopathology and father-child conflict. Larger effects for internalizing symptoms were associated with the use of community samples and symptom rating scales of internalizing problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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