Children whose dad's are depressed are 70% more likely to develop emotional or behavioral problems. Even though a child's risk for emotional or behavioral problems is much greater if their mothers are depressed, this new finding is a cause of concern. The study also reported that children were at higher risk if both parents are depressed.
Researchers studied about 22,000 US children aged 5-17years and their mothers and fathers. It was found that 19% children developed emotional or behavioral problems whose mothers are depressed, while 11% children had problems if fathers were depressed and 25% children were affected when both parents are depressed.
Inability of depressed parents 'to respond to a child's requests and needs in a consistently reliable and empathic manner' could be the possible reason for this trend.
The study will be published in the December issue of the journal 'Pediatrics'.