depression, father involvement, parenting behavior, parenting self-efficacy


Parental depression has a negative effect on child development including mental and physical health, language and development, and externalizing and internalizing behavior. This quantitative research study examined the relationship between paternal self-efficacy (PSE) and parenting behaviors often associated with paternal depression. Data from the Survey of Contemporary Fathers were used and responses from self-identified fathers (n = 1,156) on paternal involvement, warmth, harsh parenting practices, and parenting self-efficacy were analyzed to assess the association between depression and PSE on fathering behavior. Ordinary least squares regression analysis indicated that depression was associated with harsh parenting and parenting warmth, while parenting self-efficacy was associated with warmth. PSE moderated the relationship between depression and warmth, indicating a potential resilience factor for neglectful parenting practices in fathers who are depressed. Parenting self-efficacy did not moderate the relationship between depression and harsh parenting, indicating that it may serve well as a resilience factor for fathers with low engagement rather than for fathers with high negativity.

Original Publication Citation

Trahan, M.H. & Shafer, K. (2019). “Parental Self-Efficacy: A Parenting Resilience Factor for Fathers with Depression.” Social Work Research, 43(2): 101-114.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Social Work Research




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor