Study: Good Marriage Can Ease the Effects of Dad’s Depression on Kids

By May 24, 2013July 16th, 2019Uncategorized

While studies have shown that a parent’s depression can affect children, a new study is showing that a healthy marriage can help to buffer the effect that a dad’s depression can have on little kids. The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois.

“When a parent is interacting with their child, they need to be able to attend to the child’s emotional state, be cued in to his developmental stage and abilities, and notice whether he is getting frustrated or needs help. Depressed parents have more difficulty doing that,” said Nancy McElwain, a U of I professor of human development.

She also made a note of the fact that when a dad who is suffering from depression is in a close and supportive marriage with a partner that listens to him, the amount of quality time shared between the father and his offspring gets better.

“A supportive spouse appears to buffer the effects of the father’s depression. We can see it in children’s behavior when they’re working with their dad. The kids are more persistent and engaged,” said Jennifer Engle, the study’s lead author.

Depression can be such a debilitating condition for families to live with, especially when the depressed person in the father. Various drugs are often prescribed to patients with depression, even though many of them are not proven to work any better than placebos and talk therapy. Two of those medications include Paxil and Effexor, which are a part of the SSRI class of drugs. Paxil and Effexor are used by millions of people worldwide, but they can cause serious side effects including violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior. The pills have also been proven to cause birth defects in babies whose mothers take the pills while pregnant. Some of the birth control pills linked to Paxil and Effexor include PPHN, oral clefts, neural tube defects and spina bifida. In general, SSRIs like Paxil and Effexor can run very high in price when used long-term.

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