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Psychological distress of fathers attending an Australian early parenting service for early parenting difficulties

journal contribution
posted on 2022-10-28, 04:31 authored by Rebecca GialloRebecca Giallo, A Cooklin, N Zerman, R Vittorino
Background: Early parenting centres are in a unique position to identify and provide support to fathers experiencing mental health difficulties. However, the extent to which fathers attending these services experience mental health difficulties is not known. This study aimed to assess fathers' mental health, identify specific clinical profiles based on the severity and pattern of self-reported symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety, and fatigue and identify factors associated with poorer mental health. Methods: Participants were 144 fathers admitted to a residential programme. Socio-demographic information and symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and fatigue were collected using standardised instruments. Results: The proportion of fathers reporting distress in the clinical ranges for stress, anxiety, and depression were 17%, 6%, and 9%, respectively. Latent class analysis identified two distinct groups or clinical profiles of fathers, representing mild (84%) and high distress (16%). Poor physical health, severity of child's sleep disruption, low socio-economic position, and poor self-care were associated with high distress. Conclusions: Fathers attending early parenting services are at risk of experiencing significant levels of distress, anxiety, stress, and fatigue. Early Parenting Services can play a critical role in screening and identifying fathers experiencing poor mental health and link them into appropriate mental health support. © 2012 The Australian Psychological Society.

History

Journal

Clinical Psychologist

Volume

17

Pagination

46 - 55

ISSN

1328-4207

eISSN

1742-9552

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