Title

Fatherhood and mental health

Keywords

depression, parenthood, postpartum, stepfathers, social work

Abstract

When people think about depressed parents, it’s almost instinctive to think about post-partum moms. Certainly, post-partum depression is a serious issue, but my co-author Garrett Pace and I wanted to go one step further. We asked if moms and dads are at similar risk for depression based on the kinds of parental roles they take on (like a step-parent or residential biological parent). Our work, which appeared in the journal Social Work, found some interesting gender differences. For example, stepfathers have a high risk for depression, particularly if they have a biological child from another relationship who they are not currently living with. Depression for stepfathers is even more likely when they have a child with their new partner, a so-called “cement child.” As we have spoken to reporters, colleagues, students, friends, and others about our findings, we almost invariably get asked this question: “Do dads get depressed, too?”

Original Publication Citation

Shafer, K. (2015). “Fatherhood and Depression.” Oxford University Press Research Blog.

Document Type

Other

Publication Date

2015-03-27

Publisher

OUPblog

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

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