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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2008 Aug;17(5):306-15. doi: 10.1007/s00787-007-0672-6. Epub 2008 Mar 25.

Associations between paternal depression and behaviour problems in children of 4-6 years.

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General Practice Research Framework, Medical Research Council, Stephenson House, 158-160 North Gower Street, London NW1 2ND, UK.


Maternal depression is associated with adverse child development, however little is known about paternal depression and child outcome. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of paternal depression and assess its association with abnormal child behaviours among 4- 6-year-olds. Parents of 4- 6-years-olds were recruited via general practices and completed measures on child behaviour (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire), depression (Patient Health Questionnaire), and other covariates. The association of major and other paternal depressive syndrome with mother reported child behaviour was analysed. Eight percent (29/365) of fathers had depression (3.3 and 4.77% a major and other depressive syndrome, respectively). Major but not other paternal depressive syndrome was associated with an 8 and 36 times greater likelihood of child prosocial behaviour problems and peer problems respectively.

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