Fathers do matter-Low father involvement increased the risks of maternal postnatal depression
It is well observed that father involvement in child care responsibilities has enormous implications on children’s positive developmental outcomes. Although it was also found to associate with marital quality, only a few studies specifically examined effects of father involvement on maternal postpartum emotional disturbances. These limited findings further largely relied on the mother as a proxy reporter. This study was thus aimed at investigating the association between father involvement and maternal postnatal depression at 6 months postpartum, with potential modifying effects of maternal job status being simultaneously considered.
Women prior to 16 gestational weeks and their partners attending the prenatal visits from 2011-2013 in Taipei, Taiwan were invited for participation. A total of 425 pairs of parents completed the first interview and responded the follow-up questionnaire at 6 months postpartum. Self-reported data were collected for mothers and fathers using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the paternal involvement scale. Logistic regression models were performed for analyses.
We found that fathers spent an average of 34.28 hours a week with their child. Compared to higher level of father involvement, lower level of involvement was independently associated with increased risks of maternal postpartum depression (OR=2.33, 95％CI=1.23-4.42). For mothers without jobs, the impact of lower paternal involvement on maternal emotional difficulties was even more salient (OR=3.43, 95％CI=1.53-7.67).
High prevalences of maternal postpartum emotional difficulties deserve continued consideration. The considerable effects of higher paternal involvement on childcare arrangements to help ameliorate maternal emotional difficulties should be emphasized, particularly for unemployed mothers.
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Evaluate the association between father involvement and maternal postnatal depression at 6 months postpartum, using a longitudinal follow-up study. Evaluate the potential modifying effects of maternal job status on the association between father involvement and maternal postnatal depression at 6 months postpartum. Discuss the importance of increasing father involvement on child care responsibilities to help not only promote positive child developmental outcomes but ameliorate maternal emotional difficulties in the postpartum period.
Keyword(s): Depression, Family Involvement
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI of this project and supervise the design, implementation, and analysis of this work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.