The researchers around James Paulson evaluated for their work the data from 43 international studies with a total of 28, 004 male participants, which were carried out between 1980 and 2009. Result: An average of 10.4 percent of the fathers surveyed suffered from depression during pregnancy and the first year after birth, which is more than twice as many affected as the population average. In the first three to six months after the birth of their child, the fathers were particularly affected - 25.6 percent of them were depressed. American fathers are obviously more vulnerable than fathers from other countries such as the Netherlands, Spain or Australia: 14.1 percent of them fell ill in comparison to the country average of 8.2 percent.
A depression of the parents can have a negative effect on the development of the offspring in the long term. Affected children often have less social skills than children of nondepressive parents and are often behavior-prone. In addition, they appear to be at high risk of being at risk for anxiety disorders, depression and substance abuse. According to the scientists, there is a direct correlation between a maternal depressive illness and a paternal one. In the context of prevention and treatment it is therefore necessary to involve the whole family in the treatment instead of focusing on the individual. Future research should also focus on the interactions of family depression and the effects on the child.James Paulson (Eastern Virginia Medical School) et al .: JAMA, Vol. 303, No. 19, p. 1961 ddp / science.de? Gwydion Brennan ad