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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Parenthood could improve mental health...

167 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Being a parent could improve mental health...
    New research from the University of Otago suggests being a first-time parents could improve mental health.
    Being a first-time parent could improve mental health and reduce levels of psychological distress, according to research from the University of Otago.
    Researchers from the Health Inequalities Research Programme have reached this conclusion by examining the responses of 6670 parents in the Statistics New Zealand longitudinal survey of family, income and employment.
    "This is good news for new parents in New Zealand as it shows the effects of becoming a parent for the first time tends to have a positive effect on parents' mental health," says Sarah McKenzie, one of the researchers involved in the study.
    "However, it's important to note the improvements in mental health and psychological distress are positive, but not large in our findings."
    Unlike some overseas studies, the New Zealand study didn't find any major difference between men and women in changes in mental health and becoming a parent for the first time, Ms McKenzie said.
    The study took into account partner status, employment status, deprivation and household income, but Ms McKenzie says further work is needed examining the impact of changes in socio-economic factors such as income and employment when a child comes along.
    The research, which was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, has just been published in the international Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
    Acknowledgements: NZN
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