Paternal history of depression or anxiety disorder and infant–father attachment

Nicole Lucassen, Anne Tharner, Peter Prinzie, Frank C. Verhulst, Joran Jongerling, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, Henning Tiemeier

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Paternal depression and anxiety are important risk factors for a problematic parent–child relationship and subsequent child development. We explored the association between paternal history of depression and anxiety disorder and infant–father attachment security, taking into account the possible mediating roles of sensitivity and perceived family stress. In a sample of 94 infant–father dyads, a structured diagnostic interview and a questionnaire on family stress were administered during pregnancy. Paternal sensitivity was observed using the Ainsworth coding scales, and infant–father attachment was observed in the strange situation procedure during a lab visit at 14 months. Linear regression models were used to examine the association of father's lifetime depression or anxiety with the continuous scales for infant–father attachment security and disorganization. Father's history of depression or anxiety disorder was not significantly related to infant–father attachment security in the total sample. Interestingly, daughters of fathers with a history of depression or anxiety had higher scores on attachment security than daughters of fathers without this diagnosis. Perceived family stress and paternal sensitivity were not significant mediators. We discuss these unexpected findings, suggesting alternative mechanisms for how paternal vulnerability to depression or anxiety may be associated with the infant–father attachment relationship. Highlights: We examine the association between paternal history of depression and anxiety disorder and infant-father attachment security. In 94 infant-father dyads, a structured diagnostic interview was administered and infant-father attachment was observed in the Strange Situation Procedure. Daughters of fathers with a psychiatric history had higher scores on attachment security. Mechanisms of paternal vulnerability are discussed.

LanguageEnglish
Article numbere2070
Pages1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInfant and Child Development
Volume27
Issue number2
Early online date29 Nov 2017
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2018

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Anxiety Disorders
Fathers
Depression
Anxiety
Nuclear Family
Linear Models
Interviews
Parent-Child Relations
Child Development
Psychiatry

Keywords

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • family stress
  • infant-father attachment
  • sensitivity

Cite this

Lucassen, N., Tharner, A., Prinzie, P., Verhulst, F. C., Jongerling, J., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J., ... Tiemeier, H. (2018). Paternal history of depression or anxiety disorder and infant–father attachment. Infant and Child Development, 27(2), 1-11. [e2070]. DOI: 10.1002/icd.2070
Lucassen, Nicole ; Tharner, Anne ; Prinzie, Peter ; Verhulst, Frank C. ; Jongerling, Joran ; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J. ; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H. ; Tiemeier, Henning. / Paternal history of depression or anxiety disorder and infant–father attachment. In: Infant and Child Development. 2018 ; Vol. 27, No. 2. pp. 1-11
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Lucassen, N, Tharner, A, Prinzie, P, Verhulst, FC, Jongerling, J, Bakermans-Kranenburg, MJ, van IJzendoorn, MH & Tiemeier, H 2018, 'Paternal history of depression or anxiety disorder and infant–father attachment' Infant and Child Development, vol. 27, no. 2, e2070, pp. 1-11. DOI: 10.1002/icd.2070

Paternal history of depression or anxiety disorder and infant–father attachment. / Lucassen, Nicole; Tharner, Anne; Prinzie, Peter; Verhulst, Frank C.; Jongerling, Joran; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J.; van IJzendoorn, Marinus H.; Tiemeier, Henning.

In: Infant and Child Development, Vol. 27, No. 2, e2070, 01.03.2018, p. 1-11.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Lucassen N, Tharner A, Prinzie P, Verhulst FC, Jongerling J, Bakermans-Kranenburg MJ et al. Paternal history of depression or anxiety disorder and infant–father attachment. Infant and Child Development. 2018 Mar 1;27(2):1-11. e2070. Available from, DOI: 10.1002/icd.2070