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Journal article

Caring for children of parents with mental health problems - a venture into historical and cultural processes in Europe

Journal article citation:
International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 12(4), November 2010, pp.27-36.
Taylor and Francis

This article discusses the European initiative Work Package 5 (WP5), a part of the CAMHEE programme, which was designed to bring children and families with parental mental illness onto the European agenda. Parental mental health problems are a major risk for children’s adverse development. Intergenerational mental health issues often leads to social marginalisation and exclusion, which constitutes a serious social problem. WP5 participants included Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Lithuania, Norway and Romania. The WP5 emphasised that it is important for every country to learn what the legal, human rights, and service and life situation is for these children and families and to take preventive and promotion action. The paper suggests that, to avoid further stigmatisation, awareness campaigns and training of professionals should capitalise on resilience and support for children and parenting rather than on risks. Psychiatric services for adults should respond to the needs for care and support of the patients' children. Finally, changes in society are needed, including redirecting legislation from restrictive measures towards promotion and prevention.

Journal article

Psychological abuse among older persons in Europe: a cross-sectional study

MACASSA Gloria, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Aggression Conflict and Peace Research, 5(1), 2013, pp.16-34.

There is evidence to suggest that the rate of elder abuse in all its forms is growing. However, because of the difficulty of measuring it, psychological abuse may be underestimated. This cross sectional study used data collected in 2009 as part of the survey “Elder abuse: a multinational prevalence survey, ABUEL”. The participants were 4,467 randomly selected persons aged 60-84 years (2,559 women, 57.3 per cent) from seven EU countries (Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, Sweden). Participants answered a structured questionnaire either face-to-face or a mix of interview/self-response. The overall prevalence of psychological abuse was 29.7 per cent in Sweden, 27.1 per cent in Germany; 24.6 per cent in Lithuania and 21.9 per cent in Portugal. The lowest prevalence was reported in Greece, Spain and Italy with 13.2 per cent, 11.5 per cent and 10.4 per cent, respectively. Similar tendencies were observed concerning minor/severe abuse. The Northern countries (Germany, Lithuania, Sweden) compared to Southern countries (Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain) reported a higher mean prevalence of minor/severe abuse (26.3 per cent/11.5 per cent and 12.9 per cent/5.9 per cent, respectively). Most perpetrators (71.2 per cent) were spouses/partners and other relatives (e.g. children). The analyses indicate that being from Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain was associated with a lower risk of psychological abuse. Low social support, living in rented housing, alcohol use, frequent health care use, and high scores in anxiety and somatic complaints were associated with increased risk of psychological abuse.

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