If dad is depressed…the kids are affected

When parents are depressed, the children who live with them are affected.

Those were the recent findings from a new study to be published in the December issue of Pediatrics (online November 7).

Researchers looked at a sample of 22,000 children living in two-parent homes.  They found that the risk of a child having emotional or behavioral problems were greater if the mother, rather than the father, showed depressive symptoms.

But having two parents with depressive symptoms was associated with a dramatically increased rate – 25 percent – of children with emotional or behavioral problems, as compared to 6 percent of children who had neither a mother nor a father with depressive symptoms.

Maternal depression has well-documented effects on the mental and physical well-being of children. More research is needed on the effect that depressed fathers may have on their children.

It is estimated that one in four men in the United States suffer from depression. Most never receive treatment.

How do you know if dad is depressed?

Depression has many signs and symptoms. In men, three of the three of the most common signs are pain, risk taking, and anger. Find out more.

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