A study claims seven per cent of new dads suffer post-natal depression, which leads them to smack their children and struggle to cope with the demands of parenthood.
The research, undertaken at the University of Michigan, claims 40 % of dads with PND have smacked their one-year-olds, compared to just 13 per cent of those who were not depressed.
The study found seven per cent of new fathers had suffered a recent major depression and most of those had contact with their child's doctor, but did not use the opportunity to get help for themselves.
The report found that as well as being more likely to spank their children, depressed dads were also less likely to read to them, which the researchers said was down to the need to focus on the words, which dads would find difficult if depressed.
Whilst PND is said to affect around 25 per cent of women, little is known about the affects it has on men.
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Postnatal depression in men: Fact, not fiction