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People With Depression Are Less Likely to Have Children - Neuroscience News
Nov 28, 2022 2 mins, 8 secs

Women are at their greatest risk for depression during their childbearing years, and according to a recent study published in the prestigious American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, depression is indeed associated with a lower likelihood of having children among men and women.

Drawing on the unique Finnish register data, this study with over 1,4 million participants examined the associations between diagnosed depression and the likelihood of having children, the number of children, and the age at first birth for all men and women born in Finland between 1960 and 1980.

“One of the main results was that depression was associated with a lower likelihood of having children and a lower number of children among men and women.

An important observation was that the severity of depression was associated with a likelihood of having children: for men, even mild depression was related to a lower likelihood of having children, whereas for women the link was found only for severe depression.

“Among men and women with secondary and higher education, depression was related to a lower likelihood of having children and having fewer children.

As for the participants with basic education, no associations were observed for men, whereas for women depression was related to a higher likelihood of having children” says Kateryna Golovina.

Depression may be associated with a lower likelihood of having children, but the findings are inconsistent.

We examined associations between depression and the likelihood of having children, the number of children, and the parental age at first birth.

The association between depression and the likelihood of having children was examined using a logistic regression analysis; the association between depression and the number of children was evaluated using Poisson regression analyses, and the association between depression and the age at first birth was evaluated using a linear regression analysis.

For both men and women, secondary care–treated depression was associated with a lower likelihood of having children (odds ratio, 0.66; 95% confidence interval, 0.64–0.67 for men; odds ratio, 0.84; 95% confidence interval, 0.82–0.85 for women) and with having fewer children (incidence rate ratio, 0.86; 95% confidence interval, 0.86–0.87 for men; incidence rate ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.96–0.96 for women).

Earlier onset of depression was related to a lower likelihood of having children and to having fewer children

Among men and women in middle- and high-level educational groups, depression was associated with a lower likelihood of having children and with having fewer children

Among women with a low level of education, depression was associated with a higher likelihood of having children and with having more children

Both men and women with secondary care–treated depression have a lower likelihood of having children and have fewer children

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