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Parental Mental Health: Childhood Outcomes and Importance of Creating Positive Relationships

Parental Mental Health: Childhood Outcomes and Importance of Creating Positive Relationships

Starting a family can be a considered a big milestone for some, however the transition to parenthood can be difficult for both men and women, with the exacerbation or onset of mental health problems following parenthood (Challacombe, 2022).

According to data from the Mental Health Foundation, approximately 68% of women and 57% of men with mental health problems are parents. Many parents with mental health conditions can manage their condition and minimise its impact on their children, especially with the right support. However, poor maternal and paternal mental health has been associated with poor outcomes in children. How poor parental mental health can affect children differs according to the severity and type of mental health condition of the parent, as well as factors such as the child’s age and stage of development (NSPCC Learning, 2024).

Whether associations between parental mental health conditions and childhood outcomes reflects causation or genetic confounding remains unclear (Larsson, 2023), however it is recognised that parental mental health problems can have an impact on the family environment (Challacombe, 2022).

Now it its third year, UK Parent Mental Health Day (27 January) aims to challenge the stigmas surrounding parents’ and carers’ mental health. It serves as an opportunity to improve your understanding of the importance of parent and carer mental health and wellbeing, as well as increase your awareness of parental mental health as being as important an issue as child and adolescent mental health.

This UK Parent Mental Health Day, we encourage you to explore the learning opportunities available on our website, and to share with your networks.

Podcasts

  • Podcast ‘Negative Parenting, Epigenetic Age, and Psychological Problems’ with Dr. Stefanos Mastrotheodoros and Dr. Marco Boks
  • Podcast ‘Mood and Anxiety Disorders in the Children of Depressed Parents’ with Dr. Vicky Powell
  • Podcast ‘Effectiveness of Nurse-home Visiting in Improving Child and Maternal Outcomes Prenatally’ with Assistant Professor Nicole Catherine
  • Podcast ‘Preventing Anxiety in the Children of Anxious Parents’ with Dr. Fiona Challacombe
  • Podcast ‘Changes in UK Parental Mental Health Symptoms Over the COVID-19 Pandemic’ with Dr. Simona Skripkauskaite
  • Podcast ‘Paternal Perinatal Stress and its Impact on Infants and Children’ with Dr. Fiona Challacombe
  • Podcast ‘Interplay between maternal depressive symptoms and child inhibitory control’ with Dr. Tone Hermansen
  • Podcast ‘Supporting Children and Young People’s Mental Health – An insight for Parents, Caregivers and Teachers’ with Dr. Mei Simmons
  • Podcast ‘Emotion Processing in Offspring of Mothers with Depression Diagnoses’ with Dr. Katie Burkhouse
  • Podcast ‘The PRIMERA Project – Parental Mental Health and Family-Focused Interventions’ with Professor Sinéad McGilloway and Christine Mulligan
  • Podcast ‘The Mental Health of Children Impacted by Armed Conflict: Supporting Parenting & Wellbeing’ with Professor Kenneth E. Miller
  • Podcast ‘Harmful Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Parents and Carers’ with Dr. Hope Christie
  • Podcast ‘Impact of Maternal Depression on Offspring Depression in Emerging Adulthood’ with Dr. Becca Lacey 
  • Podcast ‘Early Trauma and the Importance of Early Relationships’ with Sally Hogg

Lectures, talks, and discussions

  • Recorded webinar ‘Interrelationships between parental mental health, intimate partner violence and child mental health – implications for practice’ with Prof. Gene Feder, Dr. Shabeer Syed, and Dr. Claire Powell
  • Recorded webinar ‘How to Cope When Your Child Can’t: How parents can help themselves and each other’ with Ursula Saunders, Dr. Alice Welham, Professor Roz Shafran,  Wendy Minhinnett and Kathryn Pugh MBE

Articles

  • Blog ‘Don’t blame the children: Supporting families with young children’ by AnaCristina Bedoya, Jill Portnoy Donaghy and Dr. Keri Wong

Open Access papers from ACAMH journals

  • JCPP Original Article ‘Long-term associations between early attachment and parenting and adolescent susceptibility to post-traumatic distress in a South African high-risk sample’, (December 2023)., Katharina Haag, Sarah L. Halligan, Rachel Hiller, Sarah Skeen, Mark Tomlinson
  • Featured Paper from the JCPP ‘Testing reciprocal associations between child anxiety and parenting across early interventions for inhibited preschoolers’, (August 2023)., Danielle R. Novick, Christian T. Meyer, Nicholas J. Wagner, Kenneth H. Rubin, Christina M. Danko, Lea R. Dougherty, Lindsay R. Druskin, Kelly A. Smith, Andrea Chronis-Tuscano
  • Featured Paper from the JCPP ‘Negative parenting, epigenetic age, and psychological problems: prospective associations from adolescence to young adulthood’, (May 2023)., Stefanos Mastrotheodoros, Marco P. Boks, Céline Rousseau, Wim Meeus, Susan Branje
  • JCPP Original Article ‘Parental insightfulness is associated with mother–father–child interactions among families of preschoolers with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis’, (March 2023)., David Oppenheim, Nina Koren-Karie, Lior Hamburger, Yael Maccabi, Michal Slonim, Nurit Yirmiya
  • JCPP Commentary ‘Understanding emotion processing in offspring of mothers with depression – A commentary on Burkhouse and Kujawa (2023)’, (February 2023)., Belinda Platt
  • JCPP Commentary ‘The roles of mothers versus fathers in intergenerational family risk – a commentary on Rothenberg et al. (2023)’, (December 2022)., Deborah M. Capaldi, David C.R. Kerr
  • Featured Paper from the JCPP ‘Paternal perinatal stress is associated with children’s emotional problems at 2 years’, (October 2022), Fiona L. Challacombe, Johanna T. Pietikäinen, Olli Kiviruusu, Outi Saarenpää-Heikkilä, Tiina Paunio, E. Juulia Paavonen
  • Featured Paper from the JCPP ‘On the importance of parenting in externalizing disorders: an evaluation of indirect genetic effects in families’, (July 2022)., Espen M. Eilertsen, Rosa Cheesman, Ziada Ayorech, Espen Røysamb, Jean-Baptiste Pingault, Pål R. Njølstad, Ole A. Andreassen, Alexandra Havdahl, Tom A. McAdams, Fartein A. Torvik, Eivind Ystrøm
  • CAMH journal Technology Matters ‘Digital micro interventions to support parenting: Evaluating time out apps’, (January 2023)., Farah Abdelhameed, Nathan Hodson, Peter Woods
  • CAMH journal Original Article ‘Preventing anxiety in the children of anxious parents – feasibility of a brief, online, group intervention for parents of one- to three-year-olds’, (August 2022)., Emily Palmer, Matt Woolgar, Ben Carter, Sam Cartwright-Hatton, Fiona L. Challacombe
  • Featured Paper from JCPP Advances ‘A systematic review of the association between parent-child communication and adolescent mental health’, (November 2023)., Holger Zapf, Johannes Boettcher, Yngvild Haukeland, Stian Orm, Sarah Coslar, Krister Fjermestad
  • Featured Paper from JCPP Advances ‘Children of parents with depression or anxiety: Long-term follow-up, causality and resilience’, (November 2023)., Henrik Larsson
  • Featured Paper from JCPP Advances ‘Pathways from maternal depression to child resilience: Socioeconomic, family, and individual factors in the 2004 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort’, (October 2023)., Jessica Mayumi Maruyama, Andreas Bauer, Gemma Hammerton, Sarah L. Halligan, Ina S. Santos, Tiago N. Munhoz, Aluísio J. D. Barros, Fernando C. Barros, Graeme Fairchild, Alicia Matijasevich
  • Featured Paper from JCPP Advances ‘Transactional associations of child irritability and anxiety with parent psychological control in Taiwanese school-aged children’, (August 2023)., Ka Shu Lee, Eli R. Lebowitz, Wendy K. Silverman, Wan-Ling Tseng
  • Featured Paper from JCPP Advances ‘Following the children of depressed parents from childhood to adult life: A focus on mood and anxiety disorders’, (June 2023)., Victoria Powell, Jessica Lennon, Rhys Bevan Jones, Alice Stephens, Bryony Weavers, David Osborn, Judith Allardyce, Robert Potter, Ajay Thapar, Stephan Collishaw, Anita Thapar, Jon Heron, Frances Rice
  • Featured Paper from JCPP Advances ‘Mothers’ symptoms of anxiety and depression and the development of child temperament: A genetically informative, longitudinal investigation’, (June 2023)., Y. I. Ahmadzadeh, E. M. Eilertsen, R. Cheesman, C. Rayner, E. Ystrom, L. J. Hannigan, T. A. McAdams
  • Featured Paper from JCPP Advances ‘Changes in UK parental mental health symptoms over 10 months of the COVID-19 pandemic’, (March 2023)., Simona Skripkauskaite, Cathy Creswell, Adrienne Shum, Samantha Pearcey, Pete Lawrence, Helen Dodd, Polly Waite
  • Featured Paper from JCPP Advances ‘Research Review: The effect of perinatal interventions on parent anxiety, infant socio-emotional development and parent-infant relationship outcomes: A systematic review’, (November 2022)., Celia G. Smith, Emily J. H. Jones, Sam V. Wass, Dean Jacobs, Cassie Fitzpatrick, Tony Charman
  • Featured Paper from JCPP Advances ‘Research Review: Examining harmful impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and school closures on parents and carers in the United Kingdom: A rapid review’, (August 2022)., Hope Christie, Lucy V. Hiscox, Sarah L. Halligan, Cathy Creswell
  • JCPP Advances Original Article ‘Child internalizing and externalizing behaviors: Interplay between maternal depressive symptoms and child inhibitory control’, (October 2022)., Tone K. Hermansen, Kari E. Syrstad, Espen Røysamb, Annika M. D. Melinder

Topic Guide

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