Social Work Research
Depressed parents may negatively influence the well-being and outcomes of their children. However, prior research has mostly addressed mother's depression and early childhood outcomes, whereas fathers and adolescents have been largely ignored in the literature. Using data from the sixth grade and age 15 waves of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, this study addresses similarities and differences in the influence of paternal and maternal depression on adolescent behavior. Results from structural equation models showed that paternal depression had direct effects on both internalizing and externalizing behaviors, whereas maternal depression did not. Maternal depression worked through parenting behaviors, whereas paternal depression did not. These results highlight the importance of understanding depression through a gender-specific lens, highlight the paternal role in the family system, and underscore the importance of better depression screening and help-seeking interventions for fathers. (Author abstract)
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