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Prevalence and factors associated with male postnatal depression in China

  • Ying Cui1
  • Yanhua Deng1
  • Borong Zhou1
  • Yingchun Zeng2
  • Andy SK Cheng2

1Department of Psychiatry, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, P. R. China

2Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, P. R. China

DOI: 10.31083/jomh.v17i1.324 Vol.17,Issue 1,January 2021 pp.22-27

Published: 08 January 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Borong Zhou E-mail:
*Corresponding Author(s): Yingchun Zeng E-mail:

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Background and Objective: Male postnatal depression has recently begun to attract more research attention. However, it often remains unrecognized despite affecting not only the health of the child but also the spousal relationship and family welfare. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of male postnatal depressive symptoms in Guangzhou, South China. It also explored sociodemographic factors and psychological variables as predictors of postnatal depression symptoms. Materials and methods: Chinese men whose children had been born within the last six months were screened using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale for depressive symptoms, the Vulnerable Personality Style Questionnaire for personality, and the Social Support Rating Scale for social support. Sociodemographic and psychosocial variables were descriptively analyzed and logistic regression was also employed to analyze the predictive impact of factors associated with depression. Results: A total of 212 new Chinese fathers participated in the study. The prevalence of postnatal depression was 24.1% assessed by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale cutoff score of 10. Depressive symptoms were found to be significantly associated with employment status and vulnerable personality traits. Higher family income, wanted pregnancy, having a child of the desired gender, more family support and objective support (OR = 0.598, 95% CI = 0.312-0.896) were all protective factors for depressive symptoms among new Chinese fathers. Conclusion: This study indicated that there is a need to routinely screen for postnatal depressive symptoms in men. Early identification and timely referral to healthcare professionals may prevent postnatal depression and improve the mental health of new fathers. It is important for healthcare providers to develop and evaluate information resources in print and online so as to establish how best to identify and manage paternal postnatal mental health needs. This study also suggests that new fathers need to be provided with targeted resources concerning postnatal mental health and informed as to how to access them and who can be approached for professional support.


Postnatal depression; New fathers; Cross-section study; China

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Ying Cui,Yanhua Deng,Borong Zhou,Yingchun Zeng,Andy SK Cheng. Prevalence and factors associated with male postnatal depression in China. Journal of Men's Health. 2021. 17(1);22-27.


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