PATERNAL ANXIETY AND DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS: LINKAGES WITH PATERNAL BEDTIME EMOTIONAL AVAILABILITY AND MATERNAL AND PATERNAL COPARENTING QUALITY

Open Access
Author:
Atanasio, Meredith Grace
Area of Honors:
Human Development and Family Studies
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Dr. Douglas Teti, Phd, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Lesley Ross, PhD, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Paternal Anxiety
  • Maternal Coparenting Quality
  • Paternal Coparenting Quality
  • Paternal Emotional Availability
  • Paternal Depressive Symptoms
Abstract:
The following is a study on the relationships between paternal depressive symptoms and anxiety and paternal emotional availability and parental perceptions of coparenting. These variables were assessed in 167 families with infants at 5 time points: 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. It was hypothesized that paternal depressive symptoms and anxiety would relate to negative perceptions of coparenting quality for both the maternal and paternal figures, as well as relate negatively to paternal emotional availability (EA). Correlation analyses were run to test all hypotheses. Results: Paternal anxiety and depressive symptoms were related to more negative perceptions of coparenting overall at most time points for both maternal and paternal figures. Additionally, paternal depressive symptoms and anxiety were, at some time points, predictive of more negative maternal and paternal perceptions of coparenting at later time points. Paternal anxiety and depressive symptoms were significantly correlated with paternal EA at 6 months, both reflecting a relatively strong and negative correlation. This means that at 6 months, poor paternal mental health relates to poorer quality of being able to interact with emotional authenticity and presence with their infant. This indicates the need for more research examining these relationships at 6 months post-partum in the family and how it may impact these relationships.