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Open Access The Role of Paternal Support in the Behavioural Development of Children Exposed to Postpartum Depression Le rôle du soutien paternel dans le développement comportemental des enfants exposés à la dépression postpartum

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Abstract:

Fathers' ability and availability to provide social support to their depressed partners and thus promote their children's development and success may be influenced by their workforce participation, health, and years of education. This study of 626 children and their families examined the influence of fathers' characteristics on their children's behavioural development, when exposed to maternal postpartum depression, taking into account known covariates, including sex of the child, family structure, number of children in the household, annual income, and family functioning. For the behavioural outcomes of anxiety, hyperactivity, and aggression, fathers' workforce participation during the children's first 2 years of life significantly predicted their development over the next 10 years. Most notably, weekend work by fathers was a risk factor, particularly for boys. Thus fathers' characteristics related to their ability and availability to provide social support for their depressed partner appear to predict children's developmental success.

French
La disponibilité du père et sa capacité à fournir du soutien à sa conjointe lorsqu'elle souffre de dépression postpartum et, partant, à contribuer au développement de l'enfant nouveau-né, peuvent dépendre de facteurs comme le temps consacré au travail, la santé et le degré de scolarité. Dans le cadre de ce projet, qui porte sur 626 enfants et leurs familles, on a analysé l'incidence de certaines caractéristiques paternelles sur le développement comportemental de l'enfant exposé à la dépression postpartum de la mère. On a tenu compte des covariants connus, incluant le sexe de l'enfant, la structure familiale, le nombre d'enfants au sein du ménage, le revenu annuel et le fonctionnement de la famille. En ce qui touche les résultats comportementaux associés à l'anxiété, l'hyperactivité et l'agressivité, le temps consacré par le père à son travail au cours des deux premières années après la naissance de l'enfant permet de prédire de façon significative le développement de ce dernier sur une période de dix ans. Fait à signaler, le fait pour un père de travailler le week-end s'est avéré un facteur de risque, particulièrement pour les garçons. Par conséquent, les caractéristiques associées à la disponibilité du père et à sa capacité d'épauler sa conjointe lorsqu'elle souffre de dépression postpartum semblent être des facteurs de prédiction du développement réussi de l'enfant.

Keywords: CHILD HEALTH; DEVELOPMENT; FAMILY; MENTAL HEALTH/PYSCHOSOCIAL; POSTPARTUM CARE; SOCIAL SUPPORT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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