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Title: What about Dad? : an exploratory study of paternal postnatal post traumatic stress disorder
Author: Spencer, Catherine.
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2006
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Background It is now well accepted that Postnatal Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can arise in women as a result of childbirth. However, to date only two other studies have considered the impact on fathers who witness their child's birth. The aim of this study was to explore the presence of PTSD in a group of fathers following the birth of their child. Method A cross-sectional survey was carried out via the Internet. Fathers (n= 525) were required to complete a measure of trauma history (THQ), a current measure of PTSD (SRS-PTSD) which was answered in relation to their attendance at their child's birth, a measure of depression, anxiety and stress (DASS) and finally a measure assessing levels of perceived support from family and friends (PSS-Fa and PSS-Fr) at least three months following the birth. Results A total of 308 men completed the questionnaires. Of this sample, seven (2.3%) fathers were identified as experiencing full symptoms of PTSD. A further 72 (23.4%) were experiencing clinically significant symptoms on one dimension of PTSD, and 15 (4.9%) met the criteria for two dimensions of PTSD. Significant correlations were found between total scores of PTSD and scores on depression, anxiety and stress. In addition, there was an association between those fathers who had experienced physical and/or sexual abuse and the reporting of PTSD symptomatology. A significant negative relationship was found for perceptions of family support and the reporting of symptoms of PTSD. Conclusions The current findings tentatively suggest there may be an association between the experience of PTSD and becoming a father. However, this study was exploratory and employed a correlational design. Further research is required, preferably within the context of a prospective, longitudinal design to establish whether fathers can develop Postnatal PTSD as a result of witnessing their child's birth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psychol.)--University of East Anglia, 2006. Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available