European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 993–1002 | Cite as

Does paternal mental health in pregnancy predict physically aggressive behavior in children?

  • Anne Lise KvalevaagEmail author
  • Paul G. Ramchandani
  • Oddbjørn Hove
  • Malin Eberhard-Gran
  • Jurg Assmus
  • Odd E. Haavik
  • Børge Sivertsen
  • Eva Biringer
Original Contribution


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.


Paternal Pregnancy Children Aggression 



Ages and Stages Questionnaire


Child Behavioral Checklist Revised


Mother and Child Cohort Study


Marital Satisfaction Scale


Symptom Checklist-5



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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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anne Lise Kvalevaag
    • 1
  • Paul G. Ramchandani
    • 1
  • Oddbjørn Hove
    • 1
  • Malin Eberhard-Gran
    • 1
  • Jurg Assmus
    • 1
  • Odd E. Haavik
    • 1
  • Børge Sivertsen
    • 1
  • Eva Biringer
    • 1
  1. 1.Helse Fonna HFHaugesundNorway

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