A teenage girl is more at risk of developing mental health problems if her father has experienced post-natal depression – according to research.
A study of more than 3,000 families in the Bristol area in England found that one in 20 fathers experienced post-natal depression in the weeks after their child was born.
Researchers found a link between men with the condition and their daughters experiencing depression at the age of 18.
The ‘small but significant’ risk applied only to daughters.
Sons were found to be unaffected said the study – published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.
The survey – the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, which has been running since 1991 – looked at 3,176 father and child pairs.
The authors said it was unclear why girls might be more affected than boys at that age but that it could be linked to specific aspects of father-daughter relationships as girls went through adolescence.
They said the findings could have implications for perinatal services – which traditionally focus on identifying and treating post-natal depression in mothers.