High risk of depression, anxiety, and poor quality of life among experienced fathers, but not mothers: A prospective longitudinal study

Yi Han Chen, Jian Pei Huang, Heng Kien Au, Yi Han Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Mental distress patterns in first-time or experienced mothers and fathers during the transition to parenthood have been inadequately studied. This longitudinal study thus investigated changes in depression, anxiety, and health-related quality of life in both parents from early pregnancy until 1 year postpartum. Parity effects were specifically examined. Methods: In total, 531 pregnant women and their partners were recruited in Taiwan during early prenatal visits from 2011 to 2015, with five follow-ups from midpregnancy to 1 year postpartum. The participants’ self-reported data were collected and analyzed using generalized estimating equation models. Results: Maternal mental distress levels were highest at 1 month postpartum. During postpartum periods, depression scores increased and social relations domain scores decreased in men. Although mental distress levels were higher in mothers than in fathers, parity evidently affected men. Experienced fathers were independently associated with a 70% higher risk of perinatal depression (odds ratio [OR] = 1.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2–2.3) and anxiety (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2–2.6). Experienced fathers also exhibited significantly lower perinatal scores than first-time fathers in the physical health and social relations domains. Limitations: Selection of both parents in metropolitan areas with higher socioeconomic status may restrict the generalizability of our findings. Conclusions: In addition to maternal mental distress during the transition to parenthood, we highlighted experienced fathers’ psychological difficulties throughout perinatal periods. Such trends may indicate unsatisfied needs and could guide timely intervention to prevent adverse consequences.

LanguageEnglish
Pages39-47
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume242
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Fathers
Longitudinal Studies
Anxiety
Mothers
Quality of Life
Prospective Studies
Depression
Postpartum Period
Parity
Parents
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Postpartum Depression
Taiwan
Social Class
Pregnant Women
Psychology
Pregnancy
Health

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Parity
  • Postpartum
  • Pregnancy
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

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title = "High risk of depression, anxiety, and poor quality of life among experienced fathers, but not mothers: A prospective longitudinal study",
abstract = "Background: Mental distress patterns in first-time or experienced mothers and fathers during the transition to parenthood have been inadequately studied. This longitudinal study thus investigated changes in depression, anxiety, and health-related quality of life in both parents from early pregnancy until 1 year postpartum. Parity effects were specifically examined. Methods: In total, 531 pregnant women and their partners were recruited in Taiwan during early prenatal visits from 2011 to 2015, with five follow-ups from midpregnancy to 1 year postpartum. The participants’ self-reported data were collected and analyzed using generalized estimating equation models. Results: Maternal mental distress levels were highest at 1 month postpartum. During postpartum periods, depression scores increased and social relations domain scores decreased in men. Although mental distress levels were higher in mothers than in fathers, parity evidently affected men. Experienced fathers were independently associated with a 70{\%} higher risk of perinatal depression (odds ratio [OR] = 1.7, 95{\%} confidence interval [CI] = 1.2–2.3) and anxiety (OR = 1.7, 95{\%} CI = 1.2–2.6). Experienced fathers also exhibited significantly lower perinatal scores than first-time fathers in the physical health and social relations domains. Limitations: Selection of both parents in metropolitan areas with higher socioeconomic status may restrict the generalizability of our findings. Conclusions: In addition to maternal mental distress during the transition to parenthood, we highlighted experienced fathers’ psychological difficulties throughout perinatal periods. Such trends may indicate unsatisfied needs and could guide timely intervention to prevent adverse consequences.",
keywords = "Anxiety, Depression, Parity, Postpartum, Pregnancy, Quality of life",
author = "Chen, {Yi Han} and Huang, {Jian Pei} and Au, {Heng Kien} and Chen, {Yi Han}",
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N2 - Background: Mental distress patterns in first-time or experienced mothers and fathers during the transition to parenthood have been inadequately studied. This longitudinal study thus investigated changes in depression, anxiety, and health-related quality of life in both parents from early pregnancy until 1 year postpartum. Parity effects were specifically examined. Methods: In total, 531 pregnant women and their partners were recruited in Taiwan during early prenatal visits from 2011 to 2015, with five follow-ups from midpregnancy to 1 year postpartum. The participants’ self-reported data were collected and analyzed using generalized estimating equation models. Results: Maternal mental distress levels were highest at 1 month postpartum. During postpartum periods, depression scores increased and social relations domain scores decreased in men. Although mental distress levels were higher in mothers than in fathers, parity evidently affected men. Experienced fathers were independently associated with a 70% higher risk of perinatal depression (odds ratio [OR] = 1.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2–2.3) and anxiety (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2–2.6). Experienced fathers also exhibited significantly lower perinatal scores than first-time fathers in the physical health and social relations domains. Limitations: Selection of both parents in metropolitan areas with higher socioeconomic status may restrict the generalizability of our findings. Conclusions: In addition to maternal mental distress during the transition to parenthood, we highlighted experienced fathers’ psychological difficulties throughout perinatal periods. Such trends may indicate unsatisfied needs and could guide timely intervention to prevent adverse consequences.

AB - Background: Mental distress patterns in first-time or experienced mothers and fathers during the transition to parenthood have been inadequately studied. This longitudinal study thus investigated changes in depression, anxiety, and health-related quality of life in both parents from early pregnancy until 1 year postpartum. Parity effects were specifically examined. Methods: In total, 531 pregnant women and their partners were recruited in Taiwan during early prenatal visits from 2011 to 2015, with five follow-ups from midpregnancy to 1 year postpartum. The participants’ self-reported data were collected and analyzed using generalized estimating equation models. Results: Maternal mental distress levels were highest at 1 month postpartum. During postpartum periods, depression scores increased and social relations domain scores decreased in men. Although mental distress levels were higher in mothers than in fathers, parity evidently affected men. Experienced fathers were independently associated with a 70% higher risk of perinatal depression (odds ratio [OR] = 1.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.2–2.3) and anxiety (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2–2.6). Experienced fathers also exhibited significantly lower perinatal scores than first-time fathers in the physical health and social relations domains. Limitations: Selection of both parents in metropolitan areas with higher socioeconomic status may restrict the generalizability of our findings. Conclusions: In addition to maternal mental distress during the transition to parenthood, we highlighted experienced fathers’ psychological difficulties throughout perinatal periods. Such trends may indicate unsatisfied needs and could guide timely intervention to prevent adverse consequences.

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