Depressed dads also need support in parenting role

EXPERTS are recommending doctors screen fathers with young children for depression, after their study showed good mental health in dads was important for optimal child health and development.

An analysis of data from more than 1700 interviews with fathers of one-year-old children found that those with depression were four times more likely to spank their child, and half as likely to read to their child, as non-depressed dads. 

The majority of dads with depression (82%) also reported talking with their child’s doctor in the previous year, giving doctors the opportunity to engage fathers and refer them for treatment.

“By reducing positive interactions and amplifying negative interactions, paternal depression may be adversely impacting children’s health and development as well as father-child relationship formation early in children’s lives,” the US researchers said.

“Paediatric providers should