There seems to me to be an overwhelming emphasis on how mothers’ mental health affects their children and teens with a lack of emphasis on the fathers. Well, today I bring to you the results of a study that proves that fathers’ mental health counts too! A study published in an online issue of the Maternal and Child Health Journal found that 15% of kids with a father who had depressive symptoms displayed emotional or behavioral problems. Only 6% of children who were lucky enough to have two parents without depression displayed emotional or behavioral issues.
The strongest predictors of depression in the father group were unemployment, poor physical health, having a special-needs child, having a depressed partner and living in poverty.
We need to make sure that when we see a child or teen who is having difficulties that we also focus on the mental health of the entire family including the often forgotten father.