Paternal Depression: Associations with Paternal Parenting Behaviors
Davis, Kimberly F.
Research on parental depression is beginning to recognize the importance of studying fathers with depression and the effects this depression can have on their parenting behaviors. The current study provides insight into the effects that paternal depression can have on specific mechanisms of paternal parenting behaviors. In this study, paternal depression is hypothesized to correlate with increased irritability and increased withdrawing parenting behaviors. The current study examined the effects of paternal depression on paternal parenting behaviors, as well as if paternal depression affects fathers’ parenting behaviors differently than maternal depression affects mothers’ parenting behaviors. This study used information from written questionnaires, interviews, as well as from parent-child interactions. Correlation statistics were used to analyze the obtained data for the specific hypotheses of this study. Results showed stronger correlations between paternal depressive symptoms and both intrusive and withdrawn parenting behaviors than these same correlations ran with depressed mothers. A major limitation to this study is the small sample size of fathers; however, the numbers for this study are comparable to previous research that has been able to find significant results for the effects of paternal depression on child outcomes, despite the small samples sizes of fathers available.
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