Teens Separated From Dads More Susceptible to Anxiety, Depression
the Psychiatry Advisor take:
Teens separated from their fathers who are part of broken families in financial difficulties are susceptible to anxiety and depression.
Jennifer O'Loughlin, PhD, of the University of Montreal, Canada, and colleagues examined 1,160 students beginning in 2002, when they were 12 or 13 years old and still living with their parents.
During each high school year, the students answered a questionnaire every three months about mental health, including depressive symptoms, stress about family, and their living situation.
Adolescents who were separated from their fathers were more likely to report depressive symptoms four to six months post-separation, as well as worry or stress about their parents separating or divorcing, a new family, the family financial situation, and their relationship with their father, the researchers reported in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.
At seven to nine months post-separation, distance from their father was still linked to worry or stress, but not with depression or their relationship with their father. However, separation was associated with worry or stress about their relationship with their mother.
“This relational change may be attributed to the fact that the mother must often play a new role in terms of greater monitoring and discipline, which can cause tension between her and her children,” O'Loughlin said in a statement.
Adolescents who were separated from their fathers were more likely to report depressive symptoms, as well as stress.
Family breakdown and the insecure financial situation that may result is more likely to cause worry, anxiety and depressive symptoms in adolescents who are separated from their father, says Professor Jennifer O'Loughlin of the University of Montreal. However, these symptoms can disappear in the nine-month period following the separation. O'Loughlin came to these conclusions after conducting a study that was recently published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.
During a five-year period, O'Loughlin and her team of researchers followed 1,160 French-speaking and English-speaking students who, at the beginning of the study initiated in 2002, were 12 and 13 years old and living with both parents.
At each year of high school, they answered a questionnaire every three months measuring indicators of mental health, including depressive symptoms, worry, and stress about family relationships, and the family situation.
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