Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 48, Issue 4, pp 563–573

Psychosocial risk factors associated with fathers’ mental health in the postnatal period: results from a population-based study

  • Rebecca Giallo
  • Fabrizio D’Esposito
  • Amanda Cooklin
  • Fiona Mensah
  • Nina Lucas
  • Catherine Wade
  • Jan M. Nicholson
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00127-012-0568-8

Cite this article as:
Giallo, R., D’Esposito, F., Cooklin, A. et al. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2013) 48: 563. doi:10.1007/s00127-012-0568-8

Abstract

Purpose

Fathers’ psychological distress in the postnatal period can have adverse effects on their children’s wellbeing and development, yet little is known about the factors associated with fathers’ distress. This paper examines a broad range of socio-demographic, individual, infant and contextual factors to identify those associated with fathers’ psychological distress in the first year postpartum.

Methods

Secondary analysis of data from 3,219 fathers participating in the infant cohort of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children at wave 1 when children were 0–12 months of age.

Results

Approximately 10 % of fathers reported elevated symptoms of psychological distress. Logistic regression analyses revealed that the risk factors were poor job quality, poor relationship quality, maternal psychological distress, having a partner in a more prestigious occupation and low parental self-efficacy.

Conclusion

These findings provide new information to guide the assessment of fathers’ risk for psychological distress in postnatal period. There are also important social policy implications related to workplace entitlements and the provision of services for fathers.

Keywords

FathersPostnatalMental healthDistress

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca Giallo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fabrizio D’Esposito
    • 1
    • 3
  • Amanda Cooklin
    • 1
  • Fiona Mensah
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Nina Lucas
    • 1
    • 3
  • Catherine Wade
    • 1
  • Jan M. Nicholson
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Parenting Research CentreEast MelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Health SciencesRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Murdoch Childrens Research InstituteMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  5. 5.Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics UnitRoyal Children’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia