Date of Paper

5-2017

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Melissa Lundquist

Department/School

Master of Social Work

Abstract

According to the American Psychological Association (2016), one in seven women are diagnosed with a postpartum mood disorder. Postpartum mood disorders have recently received an increasing amount of attention in the news and in the media. More recently, however, researchers have been questioning whether fathers are also experiencing increased mood disorders such as anxiety and depression during the postpartum period. A review of literature yielded that this assumption is accurate, and that factors such as the female partner’s mental health, role transition and delayed bond with child put new fathers at risk for developing postpartum mood disorders. The literature also shows that men experience greater barriers to care than women, due to differences in symptom presentation and cultural expectations. This research examined how medical and mental health professionals could identify postpartum depression in new fathers. A systematic literature review was conducted to review the current research on this subject, locate the gaps and develop implications for future research, practice and policy. Data was gathered from five different databases and narrowed down using inclusion and exclusion criteria. Nine articles were included in the review. The results imply the importance of screening and supporting new fathers who may be dealing with postpartum mood disorders. Future research should examine potential screening tools and methods that would lead to best practices for implementing a screening process and integrating supportive interventions that would help eliminate the current substantial barriers to care that new fathers face.

Available for download on Thursday, June 28, 2018

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