chapter  5
Fathers and perinatal mental health
ByMark Williams
Pages 8

As this is a comparatively new area of research, there is limited data of the effects of paternal depression on the cognitive, motor, and socio-emotional development of infants. Some studies have highlighted the impact it may have and in Hong Kong, Koh (2014) found that the role of the father coupled with traditionalism-modernity could moderate the relationship between marital dissatisfaction and paternal anxiety and depression. Traditional fathers who were dissatisfied with their marriage were more susceptible to paternal anxiety and depression in late pregnancy and at six weeks post postnatally. Studies in rural Vietnam found that although domestic violence is a crime, young women were still subjected to it and, as in the United Kingdom, it is associated with an increased risk of ante-and postnatal common mental health disorders. Fisher et al. (2013) and other researchers have advocated that as a result of these findings there should be community-based violence reduction strategies, which would concentrate on awareness and skills to reduce the incidence. This stresses the importance of the ability to access help in order to sustain and maintain good quality relationships throughout the perinatal period.