Depression is frequently viewed as a problem of the individual, although an interdependence exists between the depressed person and their social environment. Depressed adults report more negative thoughts and maladaptive coping, poorer physical and social adjustment, and worse role functioning, which can affect all members of their families.
Research has documented a strong relationship between maternal depression and child adjustment but has largely neglected any association between paternal depression and child adjustment.
A large review found only one percent of studies that investigated the effects of parental psychopathology on child adjustment between 1984 and 1991 focused exclusively on fathers, whereas 48 percent focused exclusively on mothers. Twenty-six percent of studies obtained and separately analyzed data pertaining to both parents. The remaining 25 percent either included mothers and fathers but did not analyze the effects separately or included mothers and father but did not specify the gender of the parent.