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Fathers' Depression Effects Toddlers' Behavior

By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Many women experience post-partum depression after the birth of a baby and it's been shown to have lasting effects on children's academic and social growth.

Just as researchers are beginning to study the effects of father-talk, parental support and involvement, new findings, reported in Education Week, suggest that a decline in father's mental health can cause similar problems for children.

The study followed about 200 couples with 3 to 4 year-olds who had participated in the previous research of post partum depression and found that fathers who were depressed in the first year were more likely to show negative behaviors - sadness, lying, anxiety and hitting.

Having a depressed parent, mom or dad, was a stronger predictor of toddlers showing bad behaviors than parent fighting.

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