Correlates of Anxiety, Depression and the Paternal-Fetal Attachment in Expectant Fathers
Beesley, Amy C
The transition of men into fatherhood is a period of adjustment and uncertainty. Research into expectant fathers is neglected in comparison to pregnant mothers. The aim of this study was to analyse the correlates of anxiety, depression and the paternal-fetal attachment in expectant fathers within the United Kingdom (UK). A series of questionnaires were used to measure psychological symptoms, relationship variables, pregnancy variables, demographic variables and the fetal attachment relationship towards their unborn baby during their partner’s pregnancy. A total of one hundred and sixty six expectant fathers completed the study. Anxiety and depression measures were found to be significantly correlated with each other however they did not appear to be significantly associated with fetal attachment levels. Multiple stepwise regression analysis identified the significant variables associated with fetal attachment to be relationship satisfaction and the gestational age of the pregnancy which explained approximately 8% of the variance. Further research is needed into determining fathers who may be at risk of low fetal attachment or psychological distress during pregnancy and how this relates to the fetal attachment towards the unborn child.
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