Keep your kids close, dads — even if you are moving away from their mother.
Fathers being absent in their teens’ lives as a result of parental discord appear to contribute to their children having more symptoms of depression — at least in the first several months, according to a new University of Montreal study.
In the first four to six months following a parental split, by divorce or separation, those teens studied who were not living with their dads were more likely to report depressive symptoms than those whose parents were still together, says the study published in the October issue of Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.
However, these symptoms of depression in teens appeared much less in the subjects after seven to nine months of separation even though stress and worry about being apart from their fathers remained.
“Separated parents and their adolescents can be reassured by the results of the study, which show that depression symptoms are usually transient following separation,” wrote the authors, who for five years followed 1,160 students — starting at ages 12 and 13 — living with both parents initially. However, they recommended these teens still be watched closely to make sure the initial symptoms of depression don’t let to more serious mental health issues.