Paternal influences from early pregnancy to postpartum years on child development: A longitudinal study

Hsin Yi Wang, Jian Pei Huang, Chen li Lin, Heng Kien Au, Yi Hua Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Although an array of maternal and child-centered risks have been researched, considerably less is known about the effects of paternal influences on child's birth outcomes and early development. This longitudinal study thus examined the effects of paternal influences (parental stress, partner support, childcare and nursing, and father–child interaction) from early pregnancy to 2 years postpartum on pregnancy outcomes and toddlerhood development, with a simultaneous consideration of maternal depression. Methods: Pregnant women together with their partners were recruited from 2011 to 2016 at five selected hospitals in Taipei, Taiwan. In total, 440 families completed seven assessments from early pregnancy to 2 years postpartum. Self-reported data were analyzed using logistic regression and generalized estimating equation models. Results: The increment in parental stress from early to late pregnancy was independently and significantly associated with higher risks of low birthweight (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 5.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0–27.7). In the postpartum years, paternal poorer childcare and nursing (aOR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.0–3.0) and father–child interaction (aOR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.2–2.9) were significantly associated with increased risks of child's suspected developmental delay up to 2 years postpartum, particularly among children of nondepressed mothers’ children. Limitations: Selecting both parents in metropolitan areas with higher socioeconomic status may compromise the generalizability of the study. Conclusions: We suggested the essential role of longitudinal paternal influences from early pregnancy on birth outcomes and child's development during infancy and toddlerhood. Maternal depression remains critical to concern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume275
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2020

Keywords

  • Birth outcomes
  • Childcare and nursing
  • Early development
  • Father–child interaction
  • Maternal depression
  • Parental stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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