Skip to main content

Research and Projects

Association between father’s depression and interparental relationship

Theme: CLAHRC - Mental Health & Dementia
Status: Live

This review is being led by members of PenCRU; more information about PenCRU and the family faculty can be found here.

This review is being led by the Evidence Synthesis Team.


Current depression affects 3-6% of men and there is increasing evidence that paternal depression puts children at increased risk of emotional and behavioural problems. These problems, if untreated, persist and lead to mental health difficulties, antisocial behaviour, early pregnancy and poor academic achievement. These problems are also associated with considerable economic and social burdens. Directly targeting this intergenerational transmission has the potential to be an effective and cost efficient way of reducing the burden of depression. Therefore there is an urgent need for research to uncover the processes by which depression in fathers exerts its deleterious effects on children.

A key environmental pathway by which paternal depression exerts its effects on children is poor interparental relationship. Depressed men use less positive strategies when they interact with their partners and marital conflict has been found to explain the link between parental psychopathology and children’s outcomes. Up to now, there is no synthesis of the existing studies investigating the impact of paternal depression on the quality of interparental relationship.

Project aims

This study is set to address this gap and aims to 1) to examine the strength of the association between fathers’ depression and interparental relationship, and 2) to uncover the factors that moderate this association including methodology used to assess interparental relationship (self-reports or observations) and characteristics of the sample (clinical or non-clinical populations).

Further information

For more information, view the protocol.

To discuss this project further, please contact Lamprini Psychogiou via email.

Others Involved

Lamprini Psychogiou, Elizabeth Perry, Anke Karl