A Chain Mediation Model of Perceived Stress, Neuroticism, and Psychological Inflexibility on Depressive Symptoms of Chinese New Fathers

Danian Li, Ying Cui, Yujie Liu, Yanting Zheng, Yingchun Zeng (Corresponding Author), Andy S.K. Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


There is a growing concern about mental health issues in new fathers, such as postpartum depression (PPD). Factors associated with PPD in men include personality traits and perceived stress. This study examined a set of hypothesized paths using perceived stress, neuroticism, and psychological inflexibility to predict depressive symptoms. A total of 189 participants took part. The mean age of these first-time fathers was 36.12 years (SD = 2.39). Perceived stress, neuroticism, and psychological inflexibility positively predicted new fathers’ depressive symptoms (B = 0.13, 0.37, and 0.31, respectively). These predictors explained 48% (R2 = 0.48) of the variance in the measured outcome of depressive symptoms in these new Chinese fathers. The total standardized direct effects of the three variables on depressive symptoms were 0.47 (95% CI [0.38, 0.53]). In conclusion, this study provides novel information about the chain mediating role played by neuroticism and psychological inflexibility in the relationship between perceived stress and PPD. Perceived stress significantly predicted neuroticism and psychological inflexibility, which in turn significantly predicted depressive symptoms in new Chinese fathers. The relationship between perceived stress and depressive symptoms was also mediated by each of psychological inflexibility or neuroticism alone.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Men's Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2021


  • depressive symptoms
  • First-time new fathers
  • neuroticism
  • perceived stress
  • postpartum depression
  • psychological inflexibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this