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The association between paternal psychopathology and adolescent depression and anxiety: A systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-246
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Published1 Feb 2020

King's Authors


Introduction: Paternal psychopathology is associated with various adolescent outcomes. With emotional disorders presenting a significant public health concern in the adolescent age group, the aim of this systematic review was to synthesize evidence on the relationship between paternal mental health and adolescent anxiety or depression. Methods: PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Ovid MEDLINE, Global Health, and PsycINFO were searched for articles which primarily aimed to investigate the relationship between paternal mental health (exposure) and adolescent anxiety or depression (outcome). Articles were assessed for risk of bias, and findings are presented in a narrative synthesis. The protocol is registered on PROSPERO (CRD42018094076). Results: Findings from the fourteen included studies indicated that paternal depression is associated with adolescent depression and anxiety. Findings relating to other paternal mental health disorders were inconclusive. Results largely suggested that adolescent depression and anxiety is equally associated with paternal and maternal mental health. The included studies were mostly cross-sectional, and the quality of included studies was mixed. Attempts to focus on the 11–17 year age range were hampered by the variability of age ranges included in studies. Conclusions: Further longitudinal research is needed to clarify the association between paternal mental health disorders other than depression, and adolescent anxiety or depression. Mechanisms in this relationship should also be further explored, and could be informed by existing models on younger children.

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