Prevalence and risk factors of parental mental health problems: A cross‐sectional study

Anne Grant, Claire McCartan, Gavin Davidson, Lisa Bunting, Julie Cameron, Orla McBride, Ciaran Mulholland, Jamie Murphy, Emma Nolan, Dirk Schubotz, Mark Shevlin

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Abstract

An understanding of the prevalence and risk factors of parental mental health problems is important for early intervention and prevention measures and shaping services for parents and their children. However, large representative surveys of parental mental health problems and associated risk factors are lacking. The aim of this study was to estimate prevalence rates of parental mental health problems using a standardised measure of psychiatric morbidity (General Health Questionnaire; GHQ‐12), in a representative sample of parents and caregivers of children and young people (2–19 years) in Northern Ireland. Further, this study explored associated risk factors of parental mental health problems. A random household survey of parents and children was conducted between June 2019 and March 2020. Parental responses on demographic, economic, familial and psychological measures were collected (N = 2815) and 22% of parents and caregivers screened positive for mental health problems. The STROBE checklist for observational research was adhered to. Multivariate logistic regression indicated that being in receipt of benefits, having poor family support, a history of adverse childhood experiences, a history of exposure to politically motivated violence (the Troubles), and a child with conduct problems and poor health were all independent risk factors of increased parental mental health problems. Findings will help to inform future commissioning and development of services and broaden understanding of the correlates of parental mental health problems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Early online date12 Jun 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 12 Jun 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). International Journal of Mental Health Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

Data Access Statement

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

Keywords

  • parental mental health
  • prevalence
  • associated factors
  • adverse childhood experiences

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