OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

Sad Dads a Literature Review


Background: Paternal Postpartum Depression (PPD) is a relatively new phenomenon in the realm of health, specifically mental health. Depression for men is a component of health that needs to be further researched. The postnatal period is vital in children’s development, as well as the health of the family as a unit. Paternal PPD is closely associated with maternal PPD, putting infants at greater risks for negative outcomes. The objective of this literature review is to gain a comprehensive understanding of what current literature reveals about this phenomenon. Methods: Using a systematic approach, we searched CINAHL, PubMed, and PSYCHinfo databases for articles published between 2012 to 2018. Key words included: postpartum/postnatal depression, treatment, paternal effects, wellness, family, child outcomes, men/father, and mental health. A critical appraisal of each article was conducted, totaling 32 retrieved and 17 utilized. Results: Results revealed that PPPD does occur and parents experiencing PPD correlated with negative long-term effects of children. There is a 24-50% chance of one parent developing depression, if the other parent already has depression. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) may produce contradictory results as it was validated on women but appears to be unreliable on men. Risk factors to developing Paternal PPD include: culture, social economic status, marital status, employment, biology, and health care providers’ role in educating parents. Conclusion: Limited research on this topic shows a gap in the literature. PPPD is misunderstood, leading to misdiagnosis. Development of a valid scale for fathers is needed as well as additional research.

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