Generous parental leave is protection against poorer mental health

parents and baby

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

According to a systematic review in The Lancet Public Health.

Researchers from the Faculty of Public Health Sciences at Stockholm University and the Department of Global Public Health at the Karolinska Institute conducted a systematic review investigating the relationship between parental leave and health parental mental health from an international perspective.

“Being a parent can be stressful for both parents. We tend to think only about the huge amount of hormones and physical change Sol P Juárez, Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Public Health Sciences, Stockholm University, and Principal Investigator of the study.

For example, parents face challenges related to childcare, job insecurity, and financial pressures due to falling incomes.

“This is probably why psychosis relatively common after childbirth; It is often said that 10 to 20 percent of mothers and up to 10 percent of fathers are affected. Therefore, we wanted to systematically examine all the published scientific evidence to see if parental leave could help alleviate parents’ mental health symptoms. no,” Juárez said.

The review concluded that parental leave was protective against poorer mental health, including depressive symptomsmental health in general, psychological sufferingburnout and mental health use, especially for mothers.

Amy Heshmati, a doctoral candidate and first author of the study, stresses: “However, beneficial effects are associated with more generous parental leave regimes, such as time longer leave”.

The researchers searched five online databases through August 29, 2022. A total of 45 studies were included in the study.

“This is the most comprehensive systematic review of the subject to date. We looked for associations between different aspects of parental leave, such as time off leave. and paid leave, as well as their link to mental health in both mothers and fathers.We even investigated the indirect effects of a single parent taking parental leave. children on their partner’s mental health,” said Amy Heshmati.

Helena Honkaniemi, postdoctoral researcher and author of the review said: “An interesting finding is that these beneficial effects were not only observed immediately after childbirth but these protective effects were observed. of parental leave may continue into the mothers’ later lives.

The findings among fathers are inconclusive. Researcher Helena Honkaniemi added: “Few research has been done on fathers and this study still shows that fathers have improved mental health with parental leave policies. pay substitutions or appropriate incentives, such as income quotas”.

Reviews prove that generous parental leave can help reduce or prevent mental health symptoms, especially for mothersa highly relevant finding from a policy perspective.

More information:
Effects of parental leave on parental mental health: a systematic review, The Lancet Public Health (2023).… (22)00311-5/fulltext

quote: Generous parental leave for poorer mental health protection (2023, January 3) retrieved January 3, 2023 from 01-genous-parental-poorer-mental-health.html

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