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Journal article

Working in a family therapy setting with families where a parent has a mental illness: practice dilemmas and strategies

Authors:
POWER Jennifer, et al
Journal article citation:
Journal of Family Therapy, 37(4), 2015, pp.546-562.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

There is strong evidence supporting the benefits of family work, for both parents and children, in the treatment of parental mental illness. However, there has been only limited research on the implementation of family work in settings outside the mental health sector, such as family therapy or family counselling services, where mental illness may not be the primary presenting issue for a family. This article reports on a qualitative study that explored the experiences of family therapists working with families affected by parental mental illness. The article focuses on dilemmas clinicians faced integrating discussions about parental mental illness into family sessions. The findings support the need for clinicians to have appropriate training in family work related to mental health issues and also to develop the skill set needed to actively introduce, negotiate and explore the topic of mental illness with families. (Publisher abstract)

Journal article

Do maternal and paternal mental illness and substance abuse predict treatment outcomes for children exposed to violence?

Authors:
RISSER Heather J., et al
Journal article citation:
Child Care in Practice, 19(3), 2013, pp.217-220.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

This study examined whether having a parent with a mental illness or a parent who abuses substances predicts treatment outcomes for children receiving community-based services for exposure to violence. From 2001 to 2011, data were collected from 492 children from one-and-a-half to seven years old and their primary caregivers enrolled in Safe From the Start services. Results indicated significant improvements pre-intervention to post-intervention in child emotional and behavioural problems, as measured by the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). One-way bivariate analyses indicated that children of mothers or fathers with a mental illness and children of mothers who abused substances had higher CBCL scores at intake. Repeated-measures analyses of variance revealed a main effect such that maternal and paternal mental illness and maternal substance abuse were associated with poorer CBCL scores. The only parental risk factor to moderate the association between treatment and CBCL scores was paternal mental illness. Treatment was associated with greater improvement in CBCL scores for children of fathers with, relative to those without, mental illness, and the effect was due to higher CBCL scores at intake for children of fathers with mental illness rather than lower outcome scores. Results suggest that Safe From the Start services which provide early intervention can be effective in improving children's emotional and behavioural functioning. Additionally, the effectiveness of services appears to be robust to parental risk factors such as mental illness and substance abuse.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Children who care for parents with mental health problems

Author:
SOCIAL CARE INSTITUTE FOR EXCELLENCE
Journal article citation:
Community Care, 1.05.08, 2008, pp.28-29.
Publisher:
Reed Business Information

Research summaries on children and parents with mental illness including reports on the findings of a two year study by the Young Carers Research Group.

Book

Children at risk: in the web of parental mental illness

Authors:
FELDMAN Ronald A., STIFFMAN Arlene R., JUNG Kenneth G
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication year:
1987
Pagination:
299p., tables, bibliog.
Place of publication:
New Brunswick, NJ

A study of children with mentally ill parents and their susceptibility to mental illness.

Book

Building resilience in families under stress: supporting families affected by parental substance misuse and/or mental health problems: a handbook for practitioners

Author:
SAWYER Emma
Publisher:
National Children's Bureau
Publication year:
2009
Pagination:
151p., bibliog.
Place of publication:
London

This book explores how professionals can support parenting more effectively in families affected by parental mental illness and substance abuse. It covers context, legislation and policy; the potential impact on children and families; what helps build resilience; professional responses and barriers to effective practice; and how services can support families more effectively at practice and strategic level;

BookDigital Media

Keeping the family in mind

Author:
BARNARDO's
Publisher:
Barnardo's
Publication year:
2007
Pagination:
3 booklets, DVD
Place of publication:
Ilford
Edition:
2nd ed.

In the UK today, one in six adults is living with a mental health problem, most commonly anxiety or depression. Many of these adults are also parents whose children are living at home, in fact mental health problems are more common in adults who have dependent children, and lone parents are three times more likely than other parents to experience mental distress. The emotional wellbeing of parents can have a significant impact on children. In some families, parental distress can lead to children taking on responsibilities that would usually belong to adult family members: they become young carers.

Journal article

The silent parent: developing knowledge about the experiences of parents with mental illness

Author:
BOURSNELL Melanie
Journal article citation:
Child Care in Practice, 13(3), July 2007, pp.251-260.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

This paper explores the lived experiences of parents with mental illness in Australia. It draws on in-depth interviews with parents (n=10) who have mental illness and provides an analysis of national mental health policies. The analysis of the parents' narratives is essential in building a picture for those involved in the issues associated with directing and developing services to support parents with mental illness. This paper also provides information for workers who are often faced with a lack of good practice programmes to address the complexities that parents with mental health issues often present. Little is known in this field about the complex needs of families who live with mental illness or recognition of the complex needs of this vulnerable group of families. In fact, there is only recently emerging evidence to indicate an awareness of children in the lives of parents with mental illness. This paper focuses upon lived experience, social process, and social policy across the troubled terrain of mental illness.

Book Full text available online for free

Keeping the family in mind: a briefing on young carers whose parents have mental health problems

Author:
BARNARDO's
Publisher:
Barnardo's
Publication year:
2005
Pagination:
16p.
Place of publication:
Ilford

In the UK today, one in six adults is living with a mental health problem, most commonly anxiety or depression. Many of these adults are also parents whose children are living at home, in fact mental health problems are more common in adults who have dependent children, and lone parents are three times more likely than other parents to experience mental distress. The emotional wellbeing of parents can have a significant impact on children. In some families, parental distress can lead to children taking on responsibilities that would usually belong to adult family members: they become young carers.

Book

You're not alone…

Author:
SANE Australia
Publisher:
SANE Australia
Publication year:
2003
Pagination:
38p.
Place of publication:
Melbourne, VIC

This cartoon-based SANE Guide has been written especially for children (6-12-years-old) who have a parent or other person close to them with a mental illness. It explains through a simple picture-story what mental illness is, how it is treated, and how to cope on a day-to-day basis.

Journal article

Parenting: experiences and feelings of parents with a mental illness

Author:
BASSETT Hazel
Journal article citation:
Journal of Mental Health, 8(6), December 1999, pp.597-604.
Publisher:
Informa Healthcare
Place of publication:
London

Most research in the area of parenting has focused on the psychopathology in the child or the child-parent relationship. Little qualitative research has been carried out in the area of the experiences and feelings of parents with a mental illness. The aim of this Australian study described in this article was to explore that parents' experiences and feelings concerning their role as parents and how the mental illness has impacted on that role. It also examined their perceptions of the mental health service and areas in need of improvement.

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