Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Fathers' problems and children's mental health

There has been a lot of research into how mothers' mental health affects their children but much less into the effect of fathers' mental health problems. A review of the research by academics from Oxford University has found that fathers' problems do have an effect on their children, particularly on their sons. Boys were at an increased risk if their fathers suffered from depression and sons of alcoholic fathers were at an increased risk of serious behavioural problems and substance abuse. Between 3-6% of men are thought to suffer from major depression and children of depressed fathers were at a higher-than-average risk of depression and suicidal behaviour. Children of fathers with anxiety disorders, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), substance abuse or bipolar disorder were also at an increased risk.

You can find out more about this research at

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