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Dads' depression affects kids' behavior


depressed man

BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Kids with a depressed father tend to have more behavior issues than those with a happy father, a latest US study shows.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, used data from home interviews with almost 22,000 families. All of them had a child aged between five and 17, and both a mother and father living at home, according to a Reuters report Tuesday.

After analyzing the data, researchers found 11 percent of the children with a depressed father had problems at home or at school, whereas only six percent of those with a happy father had such problems.

This is one of the first large-scale studies focusing on the connection between depressed fathers and children's behavior, said study author Michael Weitzman from the New York University School of Medicine.

In addition, the study echoed the previous finding that mothers' depression could increase children's emotional and behavior problems.

It was reported that 19 percent of the children in the study struggled emotionally and behaviorally if their mother was depressed.

"Parents who are depressed tend to engage less with their children, tend to display less positive behaviors, and display more harsh, negative and critical behaviors," said Jeremy Pettit, a psychologist not involved in the study, cited by Reuters.

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