The Department of Health Sciences, University of York, is inviting applications for a funded (fees-only) PhD studentship, available on a full-time or part-time basis to start in October 2016.
The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Paul Galdas and Dr Dean McMillan, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, and will benefit from a vibrant, multidisciplinary graduate school rated equal first nationally for research environment (REF 2014). The aim of this PhD project will be to develop our understanding of men’s mental health experiences during pregnancy and fatherhood and will involve both qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry. Evidence suggests that approximately 10% of new fathers experience perinatal depression (defined as the period from conception to 12 months postpartum); with rates thought to be as high as 24% and 50% among men whose partners are experiencing perinatal depression. The emotional well-being of fathers has been shown to have a detrimental impact on child developmental outcomes, the mother-father relationship, and the parent–infant interaction. However, while maternal perinatal mental health has been extensively studied in the last decade, much less is known about the mental health of fathers during the perinatal period.
The PhD project will involve analysis of quantitative data on fathers’ mental health collected as part of the Born and Bred in Yorkshire (BaBY) study, examining the longitudinal relationship between maternal and paternal mental health. The project will also involve a qualitative exploration of how male identity and the social construction of masculinities impacts on the transition to fatherhood in both positive and negative ways.