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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2014, Article ID 127632, 11 pages
Research Article

The Prevalence and Risk Factors of Paternal Depression from the Antenatal to the Postpartum Period and the Relationships between Antenatal and Postpartum Depression among Fathers in Hong Kong

1The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2National University of Singapore, Singapore
3Department of Psychiatry, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Received 31 July 2013; Revised 9 November 2013; Accepted 10 November 2013; Published 28 January 2014

Academic Editor: Verinder Sharma

Copyright © 2014 Y. W. Koh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Despite the fact that maternal perinatal mental health problems have been extensively studied and addressed to be a significant health problem, the literature on paternal perinatal mental health problems is relatively scarce. The present study aims at determining the prevalence of paternal perinatal depression and identifying the risk factors and the relationship between antenatal and postpartum depression. Methodology. 622 expectant fathers were recruited from regional maternal clinics. The expectant fathers were assessed using standardized and validated psychological instruments on 3 time points including early pregnancy, late pregnancy, and six weeks postpartum. Results. Results showed that a significant proportion of expectant fathers manifested depressive symptoms during the perinatal period. Paternal antenatal depression could significantly predict higher level of paternal postpartum depression. Psychosocial risk factors were consistently associated with paternal depression in different time points. Conclusions. The present study points to the need for greater research and clinical attention to paternal depression given that it is a highly prevalent problem and could be detrimental to their spouse and children development. The present findings contribute to theoretical basis of the prevalence and risk factors of paternal perinatal depression and have implications of the design of effective identification, prevention, and interventions of these clinical problems.