Becoming a new father can be overwhelming no matter the age but a new study shows that men in their early 20’s are 68 percent likley to suffer from depression during fatherhood. The survey was taken over a 20 year period from 1994 to 2014 and included over 10,000 men who became fathers between the ages of 24 and 32.
The findings published in Pediatrics on April 14, state the risk of paternal depression during the first five years of fatherhood rose 10 percent in the younger fathers as opposed to the older men. The study done by The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health is very important as not a lot of attention has been paid to depression of father’s and how it can affect a child’s development.
The study also showed a greater incidence of depression among fathers who lived with their children, and even higher levels of depression among black and Hispanic fathers.
What is not clear is how accurate this survey is with the 10 questions asked of the men regarding feelings of unhappiness, how well-liked they felt, and if they were tired. I think young men are much less settled, so they naturally want to do and feel they are missing more, which can make them feel most stressed. Older men have done quite a bit usually and are more set in their ways so questions hit them in a different way.
The bottomline is the discussion has begun and some attention is being paid to fathers as it relates to paternal depression. It is something worth investigating more.