AbstractPaternal depression and anxiety are important risk factors for aproblematic parent–child relationship and subsequent child devel-opment. We explored the association between paternal history ofdepression and anxiety disorder and infant–father attachment secu-rity, taking into account the possible mediating roles of sensitivityand perceived family stress. In a sample of 94 infant–father dyads,a structured diagnostic interview and a questionnaire on familystress were administered during pregnancy. Paternal sensitivitywas observed using the Ainsworth coding scales, and infant–fatherattachment was observed in the strange situation procedure duringa lab visit at 14 months. Linear regression models were used toexamine the association of father's lifetime depression or anxietywith the continuous scales for infant–father attachment securityand disorganization. Father's history of depression or anxiety disor-der was not significantly related to infant–father attachment secu-rity in the total sample. Interestingly, daughters of fathers with ahistory of depression or anxiety had higher scores on attachmentsecurity than daughters of fathers without this diagnosis. Perceivedfamily stress and paternal sensitivity were not significant mediators.We discuss these unexpected findings, suggesting alternative mech-anisms for how paternal vulnerability to depression or anxiety maybe associated with the infant–father attachment relationship.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/117601
Journal Infant and Child Development
Citation
Lucassen, N., Tharner, A, Prinzie, P.J, Verhulst, F.C, Jongerling, J, Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J, … Tiemeier, H.W. (2018). Paternal history of depression or anxiety disorder and infant-father attachment. Infant and Child Development, 27. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/117601