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The importance of including fathers in studies to achieve a whole family approach to well-being

All members in the family unit play an important role for good mental health

This publication set out to explore what the social predicators were of mental health of mothers and fathers, in a subset of families participating in the Queensland Family Cohort pilot study.

The key findings-

·         Depression, stress and anxiety levels during pregnancy were the highest among fathers reporting low social support and reduced sleep

·         Maternal depression, stress and anxiety during pregnancy was highest in those reporting higher physical pain and poor sleep quality

·         New mothers with infants reporting lower social support also reported higher depression, anxiety, stress

·         Mothers whose partners reported lower social support during the pregnant reported lower postnatal social support and higher postnatal depression

What does this mean?

Social support plays an important role in mental health of fathers and the mental health of fathers and their social support networks affects mother’s mental health. This points to the important role that partners play in the family unit

See the paper in the Archives of Women's Mental Health in full here.

Collaborators: Mater Research University, University of the Sunshine Coast, The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Metro South Health

Dixson, 2022
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