This dissertation aims to reach consensus on the defining factors of Paternal Peripartum Depression (PPPD) as well as identify research priorities through the Delphi method. Peripartum Depression is a major health issue for parents and their children. Fathers are at risk for peripartum depression due to the changes in identity, relationship, and biology they face during their transition to parenthood. A father’s mental health plays an intimate role in the overall health and outcomes of his family, but up until this point has been significantly overlooked. Due to the paucity of research and lack of clear consensus on the identifying features of PPPD and how it is best assessed, a Delphi Study seemed the most appropriate methodology for the next step in the developing area of postpartum depression within the family context This dissertation will introduce the issue of PPPD, described using a family systems theory and biopsychosocial framework. The publishable paper format was chosen for this dissertation. Paper One stemmed from a literature review on the issue of PPPD and described the role of family therapy in addressing this mental health issue. Paper Two stems from an international Delphi Study in which expert consensus on defining factors was sought. Consensus was achieved in the following realms: terminology, diagnostic criteria, risk/protective factors, biological factors, symptomology, the role of social support, assessment, treatment and operational care structure, financial costs, key stakeholders and future actions needed. Concluding chapters will provide a summary of the results, an overview of changes from the proposal stage, and future actions.

LLU Discipline

Marital and Family Therapy


Counseling and Family Sciences


School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Williams-Reade, Jackie

Second Advisor

Distelberg, Brian

Third Advisor

Fox, Curtis

Fourth Advisor

Lister, Zephron

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Depression; Peripartum Period; Postpartum Period; Pregnancy - Psychology; Delphi Technique

Subject - Local

Paternal Peripartum Depression; Fathers - Psychology; Family-centered Care



Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives