Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Could the Mental Health of Expectant Fathers Impact The Unborn?

I’ve written several articles on the impact of the mom’s mental health on the development of her unborn baby, but what about the dad? Could the mental health of the father also impact his unborn child? A study published in Pediatrics provides and answer to this question.

A Norway study of 32,000 children found that the psychological distress of  dad during a baby’s pregnancy did indeed impact child development.

Specifically, fathers were given a screening questionnaire regarding their mental health status during their child’s pregnancy. Later, mothers were asked to also fill out questionnaires regarding their child’s development. Controlling for a number of variables, an association was found between the fathers’ mental health and their children’s later developmental problems. Dads who scored high on anxiety and distress when the mom was 17-18 weeks pregnant, had children who were more disruptive and anxious at age three!

Why is this?

One can only speculate–maybe the mental health of the father later impacts his parenting, or maybe his mental health impacts the mother’s mental health, or maybe there is a genetic link..we don’t really know.

But psychologist, James Paulson, associate professor of psychology at Old Dominion University has been studying the mental health of dads and how this may impact child development. He believes the study has an important take away–consider the mental health of the dad, not just the mother. Better depression screening for dads just might make a difference in the development of healthy kids, even before they are born.

 

 

 

Reference: Paternal Mental Health and Socioemotional and Behavioral Development in Their Children, Kvalevaag, et al.

Pediatrics peds.2012-0804

  • http://fizba.com James

    That’s an awesome and outstanding post. I have impressed to read. I will share it with all of my Facebook friends. Thank you very much!

Previous Posts

A Therapeutic Way to Deal With Heartache or Tragedy
He sat in my office and told me his father died suddenly of a heart attack. There was no warning and he and his mom were heartbroken.  She was crying as she talked about her 20 year marriage coming to an end. Her husband words, "I don't love you and want out," hit hard.  He never saw it comi

posted 6:00:05am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Take the Quiz: Do You Love Money Too Much?
Money, money, money...The OJays sang about it, reminding us us what people will do for the love of money-steal from their mother, rob from their brother, lie, cheat and don't care who they hurt or beat, etc. In Matthew, Jesus tells us that you can't love money and God. He chided the religious le

posted 6:00:17am Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »

A School Success Measure More Important Than Intelligence
These days, parents seemed consumed with their children getting high test scores. The belief is that high test scores predicts academic success. But a new study suggests that parents should put their efforts elsewhere--in developing the personalities of their children. With more concern about wh

posted 6:00:29am Feb. 23, 2015 | read full post »

One Way to Facilitate the Feeling of Love
Rosie is a little anxious about her first date with Sean. We all know how important first impressions are when it comes to finding love. After a few outings at a local coffee shop, her feelings of attraction were obvious. The setting was intimate, soft  music played in the background and th

posted 6:00:15am Feb. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Want to Stay Young? Engage in the Arts!
Music, dance, drawing, reading, listening to poetry--all ways we can engage the arts. But is there a connection between staying young and engaging these activities? Yes, engaging in the arts helps you stay young. 1) Take up dancing. Dancing is not only aerobic but it challenges the brain. So t

posted 6:00:45am Feb. 18, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.