Children are more likely to grow up badly behaved if their father is stressed from parenting, a new study claims.
They are also at higher risk of depression when they get older due to slower emotional development, scientists discovered.
Parental stress slows the progress of toddlers and reduces their attention span and ability to learn new things.While young boys tended to have worse language skills if their father suffered from chronic stress, researchers from Michigan State University found.
And experts believe it could be due to the father’s becoming distracted due to their condition and not monitoring their children’s behaviour.
Lead researcher Tamesha Harewood said: ‘Times have changed. More fathers are staying at home with their kids, or becoming more involved in parenting.
‘Fathers shouldn’t feel like they’re ‘less manly’ because they need help. You’re important to your children, so you need to take care of yourself.’
Scientists conducted a study on more than 730 families with a lower income.
Parental stress was measured by questionnaires which asked fathers whether they agree with certain statements.
Statements included: ‘I feel trapped by my responsibilities as a parent’ and ‘sometimes I feel my child doesn’t like me’. Dr Michael Yogman, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, said fathers typically affect toddler’s language development differently from mothers.
While he also said fathers are more likely to encourage children to explore.
Dr Yogman added. ‘The first few years of raising a child can be particularly challenging,” he said. “If you need help dealing with stress or depression, don’t suffer in silence.’


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