Needs, expectations and consequences for the child growing up in a family with a parent with mental illness

Tabak, Izabella, Zabłocka-Żytka, Lidia, Ryan, Peter, Zanone Poma, Stefano, Joronen, Katja, Viganò, Giovanni, Simpson, Wendy, Paavilainen, Eija, Scherbaum, Norbert, Smith, Martin and Dawson, Ian (2016) Needs, expectations and consequences for the child growing up in a family with a parent with mental illness. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 25 (4) . pp. 319-329. ISSN 1445-8330 [Article] (doi:10.1111/inm.12194)

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Parental mental illness is considered one of the strongest risk-factors for development of offspring psychopathology. The lack of pan-European guidelines for empowering children of parents with mental illness led to EU project CAMILLE - Empowerment of Children and Adolescents of Mentally Ill Parents through Training of Professionals working with children and adolescents. The first task in this project, was to analyse needs, expectations and consequences for children, with respect to living with a parent with mental illness. The aim this paper is to report results of these analyses. The qualitative research was conducted in England, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland and Scotland (N=96). There were 3 types of focus groups: (1) professionals (doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers), (2) adult children and partners of a person with mental illness, (3) parents who have experienced mental illness during their parenthood. Framework analysis method was used. Results of the study highlighted that the main consequences for children of parental mental illness were role reversal, emotional and behavioural problems, lack of parent’s attention and stigma. The main needs of these children were emotional support, security and multidisciplinary help. Implications for practice are: (1) professionals working with parents with mental illness should be aware of the specific consequences for the children; (2) to empower children they should focus on them, but not excluding parents from the parental roles; (3) the multi-agency collaboration is necessary; (4) schools should provide counselling and teach staff and students about mental health problems to reduce stigma

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Version of Record online: 9 JUN 2016
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 18098
Notes on copyright: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Tabak, I., Zabłocka-Żytka, L., Ryan, P., Poma, S. Z., Joronen, K., Viganò, G., Simpson, W., Paavilainen, E., Scherbaum, N., Smith, M., and Dawson, I. (2016) Needs, expectations and consequences for children growing up in a family where the parent has a mental illness. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 25: 319–329. doi: 10.1111/inm.12194., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (
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Depositing User: Peter Ryan
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2015 10:57
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 21:39

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