London, May 8 : It's not just mums who suffer from postnatal depression. A new study has found that dads also get the baby blues, which in turn may affect their child's language development.
Researchers from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk questioned 5000 families enrolled in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study.
They found when the children were 9 months old, 14 per cent of the mothers and 10 per cent of the fathers were under depression.
While analysing the affect on speech development, out of 50 common words used by children till the time they were 2-year-old, 9-month-olds with depressed dads went on to use 1.5 fewer words at age 2 than those whose fathers were fine, reports New Scientist.
Lead researcher James Paulson said that depression in mothers did not reduce the time they spent reading to their 9-month-old baby, but depressed dads read 9 per cent less often than those who felt fine.
The study was presented on 6 May at the annual American Psychiatric Association meeting in Washington DC.