Postnatal depression in Mexican American fathers: Demographic, cultural, and familial predictors

Danielle S. Roubinov, Linda Luecken, Keith Crnic, Nancy Gonzales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background Although maternal postpartum depression (PPD) is a well-documented phenomenon that has been the focus of a large body of literature, much less is known about the prevalence and predictors of depressive symptoms among fathers following the birth of a child. Particularly scarce is research with Mexican American men, an understudied population at high risk given limited socioeconomic resources and elevated rates of maternal PPD. Methods The current study used descriptive and path analyses to examine the prevalence and predictors of PPD in 92 Mexican American fathers (M age=31.3 years). Results At both 15 and 21 postpartum week assessments, 9% of fathers met criteria for PPD. Path analyses suggested that unemployment status, fewer biological children, poor marital relationship quality, and lower orientation to Anglo culture predicted higher 15 week paternal PPD symptoms, which was associated with greater paternal depressive symptoms at 21 weeks. Predictive paths from symptoms of maternal to paternal PPD were not significant. Limitations Lack of generalizability to other ethnic groups, sampling of primarily resident fathers, and the absence of historical assessments of depression are limitations of the current study. Conclusions Findings support the importance of PPD screenings among Mexican American fathers and suggest certain demographic, familial, and cultural factors may render men particularly vulnerable for maladjustment during the early infancy period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-368
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Fathers
  • Mexican American
  • Postpartum depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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