Does paternal mental health in pregnancy predict physically aggressive behavior in children?
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The aim was to study the association between paternal mental health and physically aggressive behavior in children. This study is based on 19,580 father–child dyads from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa). Fathers’ mental health was assessed by self-report (Symptom Checklist-5, SCL-5) in week 17 or 18 of gestation. Children’s behavior (hitting others) was obtained by mothers’ reports. A multinomial logistic regression model was performed. Expectant fathers’ high level of psychological distress was found to be a significant risk factor only for girls hitting, adjusted OR = 1.46 (1.01–2.12), p = 0.043, but not for boys. High levels of mental distress in fathers predict their daughters’ hitting at 5 years of age.
KeywordsPaternal Pregnancy Children Aggression
Ages and Stages Questionnaire
Child Behavioral Checklist Revised
Mother and Child Cohort Study
Marital Satisfaction Scale
The Norwegian Mother and Child Study is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Research, NIH/NIEHS (Contract No NO-ES-75558), NIH/NINDS (Grant No. 1 UO1 NS 047537-01), and the Norwegian Research Council/FUGE (Grant No. 151918/S10). We are grateful to all the participating families in Norway who have taken part in this ongoing cohort study.
Conflict of interest
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