Parents who are depressed are more likely than others to have children with depression. Research found that a mother’s depression particularly influenced their child’s mental health. A father’s depression had more impact on children’s school performance. The study calls for family interventions to treat depression.
Researchers explored whether the timing of a mother’s or father figure’s depression was linked with the impact on their children. They found that parents’ depression during a child’s life had more impact than depression before the child was born. It had more influence on whether the child developed depression or performed worse at school.
The study highlights the importance of mental health before, during and after birth, in both mothers and father figures. Researchers say that depression has an impact on family life, and that family interventions are needed to treat depression in either parent.