Depressed dads more likely to spank
March 14th, 2011
01:48 PM ET

Depressed dads more likely to spank

Lots of information has been collected on the effects of depressed moms on their children, but very little on sad dads. Now a study published in the current issue of Pediatrics finds that fathers who suffer from depression are more likely to hit their children than fathers who are not depressed.

Researchers looked at a group of 1,700 fathers of 1-year-old children. They found 7 percent of the men had a diagnosis of  depression. Compared with non-depressed dads, fathers who suffered from depression were nearly four times more likely to report spanking their child and less likely to be involved in day-to-day parent/child activities, such as reading a book. Surprisingly, the most depressed fathers, along with non-depressed dads, reported regularly playing games and singing and talking to their kids. Researchers say this suggests that these activities may be more routine behaviors for fathers than reading.

But there is room for communication. Authors of the research say, because 77 percent of the depressed fathers in the study reported talking to their child’s pediatrician, visits to the little ones’ doctors may provide an excellent opportunity for physicians to discuss parenting habits with fathers and refer any depressed dad for appropriate treatment, if necessary.

"Fathers' active roles in families and their mental health clearly influence child development and well being," the study states. "The field of pediatrics is now faced with finding ways to support fathers in their parenting roles much in the same way we support mothers."

soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. chieatfetus

    My father is depressed but does not acknowledge it or get help/on medication.....and he BEAT my azz when i was a kid (1st physical then mental abuse).

    March 15, 2011 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Sybaris

    How much money did they spend figuring this out?!

    Get raised in a dysfunctional home that doesn't value education and you'll likely turn out someone with poor decision making skills which leads to poor prospects for income. Inevitably this person will marry or reproduce at an inopportune time and add to their frustrations and inability to become financially secure. Enter depression and the convenience of venting on the defenseless.

    Of course there is the other side of the coin where corporal punishment was/is handed down from generation to generation, regardless of social stature or mental posture, as if it were a right of passage into parenthood.

    March 15, 2011 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Plumlucky

      You are so right.

      March 15, 2011 at 09:16 | Report abuse |
  3. MrDad

    WOW it took you all these years to figure that out? lol
    Like no one ever knew this lol idiots

    March 15, 2011 at 09:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. MrDad

    Researchers are nothing but a bunch of liberal idiots who have NO clue about life. They come up with the research crap all the time. They do NOTHING to help solve the problems they study.
    The problem starts with school. Kids go to school and learn Math History science etc. They do NOT teach anyone in school how to be a DAD or MOM. They get out of school and have kids, then they learn as they go along. Plain and simple. The school system teaches everything but how to enter the real world of responsibility. Come out of High school and try getting a job as a chemist, you can't. But try becoming a dad , that's simple. No skill needed. No knowledge needed. There in my view should be classes on learning how to be a Mom or Dad, but there are more important things to learn like how to be a cheer leader. lol

    March 15, 2011 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • a little inconsistent

      you criticize researchers for being liberal idiots, but you want the public school system (which is controlled by the government) to teach kids how to be moms and dads?


      It doesn't get any more liberal than that....

      March 15, 2011 at 09:40 | Report abuse |
    • Swing and a miss.

      I love how you blame "Liberals idiots" and then in the same paragraph turn to focus blame on the school system. I would have figured that a non-"liberal idiot" like yourself would welcome the opportunity for people to take personal responsibility for child-rearing. I instead you leave parents out of the picture and blame the schools for not teaching children how to be a parent.

      March 15, 2011 at 09:49 | Report abuse |
    • Oktavio

      "try becoming a Dad, its simple" is so wrong, reproducing is simple, becoming a Dad is NOT!

      March 15, 2011 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
    • MrDad

      exactly!! The one thing that almost everyone who leaves schools is going to be is a MOM or DAD. Not a scientist or researcher. Try understanding where all this originates from. Anyone can do research and come up with any statistics they wish, Like Poles. teaching people in school to be Moms and dads. should be one of the first priorities. Home Economics. teaches them how to cook , but not take care of a Human. And for Swing and a Miss, now i can see how you achieved that Nick, You want to argue with people, not suggest or solve a problem. And yes you liberals are always looking to blame someone for your own failures. Start coming up with solutions. My solution is to teach children in school how to become Parents, what is your solution? In reading what you posted I see none, But i understand how liberals think and would expect nothing different.

      March 15, 2011 at 11:01 | Report abuse |
    • pasques

      >>The problem starts with school. Kids go to school and learn Math History science etc. They do NOT teach anyone in school how to be a DAD or MOM.

      The problem starts with the family. School is not there to teach you about family.

      March 15, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • Shamrock6

      MrDad....here's my solution. You're a dumba$$.

      March 15, 2011 at 11:30 | Report abuse |
    • Swing and a miss.

      "liberals are always looking to blame someone for your own failures"

      You say this yet you're the one blaming the school system and I'm the one advocating personal responsibility in child rearing. It would be wonderful if the overcrowed school system could teach children everything they need to know in 8 hours a day but the sad part is that no matter what is taught by the school, the Parents are setting the example that their kids will learn from. Raising kids is work and for change to happen, parents are going to have to turn off the TV and interact with their children in a positive manner.

      PS – MrDad, what class did you take cheer leading in?

      March 15, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
    • louise jackson

      It should start before the child enters school. It's the parents responsiblity to raise their child (children)....not the schools, government, etc.

      March 15, 2011 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
  5. Tk

    Its funning you have to take a test to be able to drive, teach, or work in manty professions, but anybody can be parent with out any training, just make you say UMM!!!

    March 15, 2011 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sybaris


      You gotta be trained and qualify to have a license to drive a car, fly a plane, or install wiring in a house but anything on two legs and breathing can reproduce and raise an individual who can have a greater negative impact on society than a car, airplane or house.

      Just because you once were a child doesn't inherently bestow knowledge and the skills to raise one.

      March 15, 2011 at 10:01 | Report abuse |
  6. CC Croft

    I think it's absolutely imperative that men receive equal assistance to women. People expect men to just take care of everything on their own but that's unrealistic and only causes more harm.

    I agree with the comments that basically amount to "DUH!", but I liked that this article tried to focus on ways to get help to people.

    Of course you can only help someone who wants to help themselves.

    March 15, 2011 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Olga Berg

    How little sense do you have to have to spend money on something like this? Money would be much better spent providing services to the families who need support, childcare and counseling services. Have they been smoking?

    March 15, 2011 at 10:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Dave McGuire

    They needed an expensive study to figure this out? Morons.

    March 15, 2011 at 10:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. AM

    If you can't control them, don't have them!

    March 15, 2011 at 10:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Sherie

    Sounds pretty basic to me. Do women hit there kids more when they're depressed? The most interesting part of this study could have been the difference between how men and women handle depression and parenting. They missed that boat.

    March 15, 2011 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Chris Cook

    My father beat my @$$....wasnt depressed just hard core religious

    March 15, 2011 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt n Columbus

      Same thing.

      March 15, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse |
  12. tragicfame

    So why weren't women tested under the same constraints? Why the Gender Bias in the research study? And how is this news anyways?

    March 15, 2011 at 11:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. ric

    azzz clown

    March 15, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
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