Latter-day Saint Life

BYU Professor Outlines the Effects Depressed Fathers Have on Their Children


A BYU professor's research is quickly showing just how much mental illness can affect parenting among fathers and the effects that can have on their children. 

Recently published research by BYU social work professor Kevin Shafer sheds light on mental illness in fathers, the impact depressed fathers have on their children and the importance of seeking help.

“There’s never been a lot of work on the impact that fathers have on their kids,” Shafer said. “There are pretty substantial changes that are happening in family life because dads are taking a bigger role in the raising of their children.”

Shafer said the outcomes of depressed parenting on kids can manifest in either internalized or externalized behaviors.

“Internalized behavior includes feelings of worthlessness or anxiety, or low self-esteem; externalized problems are things like being a bully or stealing things — sort of what we call ‘acting out,'” Shafer said.

Lead image from Getty Images
Stay in the loop!
Enter your email to receive updates on our LDS Living content