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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2012 Sep;200(9):791-5. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318266f87c.

Perceived quality of early paternal relationships and mental health in adulthood.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY), Flushing, NY 11367, USA.


We aimed to determine the association between perceived paternal relationships and mental health and social functioning among adults in the community. Data were drawn from the National Comorbidity Survey (N = 8098), a nationally representative sample of adults aged 15 to 54 years in the United States. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to assess the relationships between quality of paternal relationship in childhood and current mental disorders, quality of current social relationships, and attachment style. Poor paternal relationship was associated with a significantly increased likelihood of mood and anxiety disorders. Poorer quality of paternal relationships was also associated with poorer current social functioning and avoidant and dependent attachment styles. Our findings suggest that quality of paternal relationships is associated with mental health and social functioning in adulthood and highlight a need for increased understanding of the role of paternal relationships in social/emotional development.

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