Risk factors in predicting paternal postnatal depression and social support in Ireland

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Balogi, Madeleine
Issue Date
MSc in Applied Psychology
Dublin Business School
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There is mounting evidence that fathers experience depressive symptoms following the birth of a child with the prevalence of depression ranging from 1.2-25.5%. A cross-sectional, mixed-methods design was used to investigate the rate of paternal postnatal depression and examine its associated risk factors. Fathers above the age of 18, residing in Ireland and who had a child in the last 12 months were recruited (n=40). The quantitative part included self-reported questionnaires and the qualitative part focused on feelings regarding support and other experiences. Results yielded that 22.5% of fathers were above the cut-off point for major depression with support showing a negative correlation. Relationship, employment status and shame indicated to be depression predictors while income revealed a significant negative correlation with depression. The thematic analysis revealed four themes: preparation for fatherhood, support, uncertainty and openness with key findings highlighting a lack of education and support, thus suggested as interventions.