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This article details a study using the Paternal Antenatal Attachment Scale (PAAS), the General Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) that analyzed the correlates of anxiety, depression, and the paternal-fetal attachment in expectant fathers.
The transition of men into fatherhood is a period of adjustment and uncertainty. Research into expectant fathers is neglected in comparison to pregnant mothers. The aim of this study was to analyze the correlates of anxiety, depression, and the paternal-fetal attachment in expectant fathers. One hundred and sixty-six males were assessed using the Paternal Antenatal Attachment Scale (PAAS), the General Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-7) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Other questions relating to sociodemographic and pregnancy variables were also collected. Anxiety and depression measures were found to be significantly correlated with each other; however, they did not appear to be significantly associated with fetal attachment levels. Multiple stepwise regression analysis identified the significant variables associated with paternal-fetal attachment to be relationship satisfaction and the gestational age of the pregnancy, which explained approximately 8% of the variance. The findings are reassuring for expectant fathers who may be experiencing psychological symptoms of anxiety or depression. Further research is needed into determining fathers who may be at risk of low fetal attachment or psychological distress during pregnancy.
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