At least five percent of new fathers suffer clinical depression in the first few weeks of parenthood, according to a new study. And dad’s depression may have long-term impacts on the family. Researchers have found that fathers who fight postnatal depression are more likely to raise daughters who, by age 18, were battling depression themselves. Though it’s not entirely clear how this unfortunate inheritance is passed along, new data indicates a strong correlation.
“Family environment has been reported as a pathway for risk transmission from fathers to children,” write the authors of the study, published in JAMA Psychiatry. “Paternal depression during the postnatal period has been associated with adverse child outcomes.”
A spate of studies have attempted to pinpoint rates of postpartum depression in new dads. This most recent work study suggests it’s about 1 in 20; prior work has put it higher, between 7 percent and 10…
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