London: Children who live with a father who has mental health problems and depression have higher rates of behavioural and emotional problems themselves, according to a new study.
Though the effect of mother’s depression upon her children is a well known, this study is the first to the reveal the influence a father’s depression may have on his children, the Daily Mail reported.
The team, led by Dr Michael Weitzman at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, looked at a nationally representative sample of almost 22,000 children over four years.
They found that 11 per cent of children with depressed fathers had behavioural and emotional problems.
For children without depressed parents, the figure was just six per cent; while for a child of a depressed mother, the number was 19 per cent.
It is believed that a parents’ depression affects the way he or she interacts with a child, in turn contributing to a child’s behaviour.
Dr Weitzman told Good Morning America that the study is “remarkable” because it is the first of its kind.
The researchers hope the study will add to more successful treatment of depressed fathers and better education of health care workers.