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J Affect Disord. 2011 May;130(3):358-77. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2010.06.019. Epub 2010 Jul 5.

Correlates of ante- and postnatal depression in fathers: a systematic review.

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1
School of Psychology, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Contemporary research findings suggest that depression during the ante- and postnatal periods is a significant problem not only for women but also for many men. This paper provides a conceptual and methodological review of the literature on cross-sectional and prospective correlates of depressive symptoms in men during both pregnancy and the postpartum period.

METHODS:

The search, via several electronic databases, was limited to English papers published between January 1996 and August 2009, and identified 30 relevant articles.

RESULTS:

The most common correlate of paternal depressive symptoms pre- and post birth was having a partner with elevated depressive symptoms or depression; poor relationship satisfaction was also frequently associated with elevated depressive symptoms or depression in men.

LIMITATIONS:

There were significant methodological limitations of existing studies, including small sample sizes; the use of cross-sectional designs; varied measures of depression; focus on depression in the postpartum only; and in the few longitudinal gestational studies, the inclusion of only one assessment point. The limitations of the current systematic review include the inclusion of only papers written in English and potential publication bias, where studies with null findings are less likely to be published.

CONCLUSION:

The scientific study of predictors of men's depressive symptoms pre and post birth remains in its infancy. Given the implications of clinical depression in men both during the gestational and postpartum periods, further systematic investigation of direct and indirect predictors of elevated depressive symptoms in men during this time is warranted.

PMID:
20599275
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2010.06.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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