An Integrative Review of Changes of Family Relationship and Mental Health that Chinese Men Experience during Transition to Fatherhood
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An Integrative Review of Changes of Family Relationship and Mental Health that Chinese Men Experience during Transition to Fatherhood

Authors: Mo Zhou, Samantha Ashby, Lyn Ebert


In China, the changes that men experience in the perinatal period are not well researched. Men are also at risk of maladaptation to parenthood. The aim of this research is to review current studies regarding changes that Chinese men experience during transitioning to parenthood. 5 databases were employed to search relevant papers. The search found 128 articles. Based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 35 articles were included in this integrative review. Results showed the changes that Chinese fathers experienced during the transition to parenthood can be divided into two aspects: family relationships and mental problems. During transition to parenthood, fathers usually experienced an increase in their disappointment with marital conflict resolution and decreased sexual intimacy with their partner. Mental health declined, with fathers often feeling depressed and/or anxious during this time. Some men were diagnosed with clinical depression. The predictors of these changes included three domains: personal background (age and income), family background (gender of infant, relationship status and unplanned child) and cultural background (‘doing the month’, Confucianism, policy, social support).

Keywords: China, fathers, life change, prenatal, postpartum.

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