Supporting the mental health of children by treating mental illness in parents
Psychiatric Annals , Volume 43 - Issue 12 p. 534- 537
CME EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES 1. List parental risk factors for the development of psychopathology in children. 2. Describe the relationship between treatment of maternal psychopathology and level of child symptomatology. 3. Understand family risk factors for psychopathology in children with chronic medical illness. Psychiatrists who treat adult patients with children can practice preventatively by considering the potential impact of treatment interventions on the mental health and resiliency of their patients' offspring. Parental psychopathology is associated with increased risk of a wide range of social, cognitive, and behavioral problems in children.1 Genetic and environmental factors likely contribute, although which parental factors influence resilience in children remains largely unknown. Resilience is an interactive phenomenon, and significant heterogeneity exists in the individual child's response to environmental influences. Despite exposure to serious adversities known to result in negative child outcomes, some children seem to do relatively well. Unraveling protective versus risk factors can help identify determinants of resilience as it relates to both mental and physical health outcomes in offspring.
Kim, S.R, Szigethy, E.M, Meltzer-Brody, S, Pilowsky, D.J, & Verhulst, F.C. (2013). Supporting the mental health of children by treating mental illness in parents. Psychiatric Annals, 43(12), 534–537. doi:10.3928/00485713-20131206-04