WASHINGTON, May 8 (UPI) -- A U.S. psychologist said a study of fathers who suffer postpartum depression suggests the condition can hurt child development.
James Paulson of Eastern Virginia Medical School said 10 percent of fathers with 9-month-old children suffered from clinical depression, compared with 5 percent of other men the same age, USA Today reported Wednesday.
The study involved 4,500 new fathers.
Paulson said depressed fathers read less to their children than did fathers who weren't depressed. By the time the children were 2 years old, those who had depressed fathers had somewhat smaller vocabularies.
A British study found children of depressed fathers were nearly twice as likely to be defiant, disobedient and hostile, USA Today said.
"There aren't any secrets from babies," psychiatrist Nada Stotland of Rush Medical College in Chicago told the newspaper. "They absorb the feelings around them."
The study was presented at the American Psychiatric Association meeting in Washington.