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New Fatherhood and psychological distress: a longitudinal study of Australian men

Leach, L. S.; Olesen, Sarah C.; Butterworth, Peter; Poyser, Carmel

Description

Despite growing interest and concern about men's mental health during the perinatal period, we still do not know whether men are more vulnerable to mental health problems during this time. The current study is one of the first to use longitudinal, population-based data to investigate whether becoming an expectant and/or new father is associated with increases in psychological distress. We analyzed 10 waves of data collected annually (from 2001 to 2010) from the nationally representative...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorLeach, L. S.
dc.contributor.authorOlesen, Sarah C.
dc.contributor.authorButterworth, Peter
dc.contributor.authorPoyser, Carmel
dc.date.accessioned2015-03-04T01:57:41Z
dc.date.available2015-03-04T01:57:41Z
dc.identifier.issn0002-9262
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/12769
dc.description.abstractDespite growing interest and concern about men's mental health during the perinatal period, we still do not know whether men are more vulnerable to mental health problems during this time. The current study is one of the first to use longitudinal, population-based data to investigate whether becoming an expectant and/or new father is associated with increases in psychological distress. We analyzed 10 waves of data collected annually (from 2001 to 2010) from the nationally representative Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. Over this time, 349 men were identified as new fathers (first child aged <1 year), and 224 of these men had been identified as "expectant fathers" during the previous wave. A total of 1,658 men remained "never fathers." Psychological distress was measured using the 5-item Mental Health Inventory before the partner's pregnancy, during the partner's pregnancy, and during the first year of fatherhood. Longitudinal mixed models showed no significant increase in psychological distress as a function of expectant or new fatherhood; instead, some improvement in mental health was observed. The finding suggests that expectant and new fathers are not at greater risk of poor mental health. Future epidemiologic research should continue to identify those men who are most (and least) at risk during the perinatal period in order to target resources and assistance most effectively.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work was supported by a 2011 beyondblue (Australia) national priority-driven research grant (grant LEAC11NPD), funded by the Movember Foundation. S.C.O. and L.S.L. are funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (early career fellowships 1035690 and 1035803, respectively). The Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia Project was initiated and is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs and is managed by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research.
dc.format8 pages
dc.publisherOxford University Press
dc.rights© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
dc.sourceAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
dc.subjectfatherhood
dc.subjectlongitudinal study
dc.subjectmen
dc.subjectmental health
dc.subjectperinatal period
dc.subjectpsychological distress
dc.subjectAdaptation, Psychological
dc.subjectAdolescent
dc.subjectAdult
dc.subjectAustralia
dc.subjectFathers
dc.subjectHealth Status
dc.subjectHumans
dc.subjectLife Change Events
dc.subjectLongitudinal Studies
dc.subjectMale
dc.subjectMarital Status
dc.subjectMental Health
dc.subjectMiddle Aged
dc.subjectPaternal Behavior
dc.subjectPopulation Surveillance
dc.subjectRegression Analysis
dc.subjectStress, Psychological
dc.subjectYoung Adult
dc.titleNew Fatherhood and psychological distress: a longitudinal study of Australian men
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume180
dcterms.dateAccepted2014-06-06
dc.date.issued2014-09-15
local.identifier.absfor111714 - Mental Health
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4056230xPUB397
local.publisher.urlhttp://www.oxfordjournals.org/
local.type.statusPublished version
local.contributor.affiliationButterworth, Peter John, Centre for Research on Ageing Health & Wellbeing, CMBE/RSPH, The Australian National University
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/ft130101444
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/1035690
dc.relationhttp://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/1035803
local.identifier.essn1476-6256
local.bibliographicCitation.issue6
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage582
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage589
local.identifier.doi10.1093/aje/kwu177
local.identifier.absseo920408 - Health Status (e.g. Indicators of Well-Being)
dc.date.updated2015-12-09T10:54:47Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-84907486158
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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