Fathers suffering from depression are more likely to spank their children and less likely to read to them, a new study finds. The research, published in Pediatrics, found that 41 percent of fathers with depression hit their child in the last month, nearly three times as frequently as fathers who weren’t depressed, ScienceDaily reported. The University of Michigan Health System study looked at 1,746 fathers of one-year-old children. Of those, 7 percent were diagnosed with depression. Depressed fathers were also less likely to read to their children. Forty-one percent of depressed dads read to their kids at least three times per week compared with 58 percent of fathers without depression. “This study is important because it demonstrates that depression in fathers has very tangible effects on how those fathers interact with their young children,” said Sarah Clark, one of the authors of the study. You can read more information here.
Even more incentive for dads to spend time with their kids: new research says children who think their fathers work too much could become bullies. The study by Vanderbilt University sociologist Andre Christie-Mizell found that bullying behavior increased when fathers worked full time or overtime. “Our behavior is driven by our perception of our world, so if children feel they are not getting enough time and attention from parents then those feelings have to go somewhere and it appears in interaction with their peers,” Christie-Mizell told Science Daily. Christie-Mizell recommends establishing scheduled time for dads to spend with their kids. “What this research shows is that while it’s equally important for kids to spend time with both parents, fathers need to make an extra effort,” he said.
A Cobb County lawyer who represents fathers in divorce and custody cases will be the next Director of Georgia’s Office of the Child Advocate. Governor-elect Nathan Deal has named Tonya Boga as the state’s child welfare watchdog. Boga lives in Marietta and is a partner in the Boga & Edwards Law Group. Her law practice promises “Advocacy for Fathers who want to maintain a strong healthy relationship with their children.”
According to Boga’s profile, she’s a Juvenile Court Mediator, Guardian Ad Litem, and a member of the National Association of Counsel for Children. She is past president of the Cobb County Bar Association Family Law Section. She has two law degrees, including a Master of Laws from Loyola University in Chicago, and the University of Tennessee. Boga is also active in Republican politics.