Abstract: The Latino Father and the Role of Egalitarianism, Coping Skills, and Depressive Symptoms in the Post-Natal Period (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

The Latino Father and the Role of Egalitarianism, Coping Skills, and Depressive Symptoms in the Post-Natal Period

Sunday, January 20, 2019: 12:30 PM
Continental Parlor 8, Ballroom Level (Hilton San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Tania Paredes, PhD, Clinician/Private Practice, Barry University, Miami Shores, FL
Background: As gender roles shift in society, and the experiences associated with contemporary fatherhood become re-defined, research and inquiry about fatherhood emerges as a relevant topic.  Studies of depression symptoms in postnatal fathers with minority populations are scant, yet other literature suggests that role conflict and gender role stress is a significant stressor for a new father that may impact mental health negatively and impair his engagement in the family as he adjusts to the needs of having a new infant in the home (Barclay, Donovan, & Genovese, 1996; Buist, Morse, & Durkin, 2002; Silverstein, Auerbach, & Levant, 2002).

Methods: In this study, a sample of 101 Latino men were surveyed and administered 3 measures (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, a coping scale developed by the researcher, and the Gender Role Attitudes Scale).  The primary aim of this study was to examine the relationship between coping skills, egalitarianism, and depressive symptoms in post-natal Latino fathers.  An additional aim was to examine the influence of coping skills and of egalitarianism on depressive symptoms among adult Latino fathers. 

Results: The mean age of this sample was 31 years old (SD= 4.65). The mean partner age was 29 (SD=4.102).  Out of the sample of 101 participants, 44 were not married and 57 were married; the mean for total years in a relationship was 4.1 years (SD=2.17).  There was a negative weak correlation between egalitarianism (IV) as measured by the Gender Role Attitudes Scale (GRAS) and depressive symptoms (DV) as measured by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), r = - .23, p< .05. Results indicated a significant negative relationship between coping skills (IV) as measured by the introduced father’s coping skills scale and depressive symptoms (DV) as measured by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression, Scale (EPDS), r = -.28, p<.01. Results also indicated a significant negative relationship in seeking professional treatment and depressive symptoms, r = -.20, p < .05.  Several important findings were recognized in this research: 1) there is a negative correlation between egalitarianism and depressive symptoms; (2) there is a significant negative correlation between coping skills and depressive symptoms in postnatal Latino fathers; and finally (3) coping skills and egalitarianism are significantly related to depression scores, where coping skills contributes a greater percentage of the variance in depressive symptoms than egalitarianism.

Conclusion: Paternal contributions are part of the family unit and the greater social ecology. With an increased interest in father’s postnatal experience, implications from this study presents a unique opportunity to develop prevention tools and literature that can be presented to fathers in the pre-natal period in order to address possible symptoms in the post-natal period.