Depressed Dads Can Affect Child's Well-Being

November 7, 2011 Updated Nov 8, 2011 at 9:17 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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Depressed Dads Can Affect Child's Well-Being

November 7, 2011 Updated Nov 8, 2011 at 9:17 AM EDT

(WKBW/Cleveland Clinic) Research has already shown the effect a depressed mom can have on her child's mental well-being, but it appears dad's mental state may have a similar impact.

A new study finds children who live with fathers with depressive symptoms and other mental health problems, are more likely to have emotional or behavioral problems themselves.

The New York University researchers found that having two parents with depressive symptoms increased a child's
chances of having emotional or behavioral problems by 25 percent.

In homes where mom alone had symptoms, the rate among children was 19 percent,
and in homes where dad alone showed symptoms, 11 percent of children did, too.

Researchers say work is needed to develop ways to identify fathers with mental
health problems.

Doctors say family members can look for typical signs and symptoms.

They say to look for a dad who has been distant from the family, irritable, with signs of depression. Doctors say dads who are depressed may not be sleeping or eating.

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