Diagnosis in Young Children: How a Father's Perceptions of Mental Health Change
ABSTRACT This case study's purpose was to understand how diagnosing mental illness in a child affects a parent's perception of mental health, using Denzin's interpretive interactionism.
Two interviews from a case study were analyzed.
Emergent themes were alienation from peers, ambivalence, shifting orientation to mental illness, school system stigmatization and conflict with mental health care, and discovery of mental healthcare specialists and new peers. Perceptions were influenced by peers, education, and mental healthcare systems, and by the disease model paradigm of mental illness. Future research should explore the effect of the diagnostic process on parents of very young children, and expand on consequences of undergoing current diagnostic and treatment practices.
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ABSTRACT: Forty-one parents and their children (20 girls and 21 boys, mean age = 4.33 years, SD = 1.30) participated in a study to examine how parents' personal use of mental health services related to their attitudes toward child mental health services as well as to their children's adjustment. Results indicated that parents' attitudes and personal use of services have implications for children's adjustment and mental health utilization. Parents who personally used mental health services reported more positive help-seeking attitudes, higher level of help-seeking intentions, and lower stigmatization of child mental health services. In addition, parents who used child services in the past reported higher levels of internalizing (not externalizing) behaviors in their children, and parents' previous experience predicted child mental health service use. Results have implications for fostering positive attitudes and reducing stigma about child mental health services that may prevent parents from seeking professional help for their children.Community Mental Health Journal 08/2009; 46(3):231-40. DOI:10.1007/s10597-009-9221-8 · 1.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Stigma is pervasive among families of individuals with psychotic disorders and includes both general and 'associative' stigma - that is, the process by which a person is stigmatized by virtue of association with another stigmatized individual. These forms of stigma may present a barrier to help seeking. However, little is known about stigma in the early stages of evolving psychotic disorder. Family members of 11 individuals at clinical high risk and of nine patients with recent-onset psychosis were evaluated for generalized and associative stigma using the Opinions about Mental Illness (modified) and the Family Experiences Interview Schedule. In this small study, the level of stigma was low, as families endorsed many supportive statements, for example, patients should be encouraged to vote, patients want to work, mental illness should be protected legally as a disability and parity should exist in insurance coverage. Families also endorsed that both talking and a belief in God and prayer can help someone get better. Only ethnic minority families of individuals with recent-onset psychosis endorsed a sense of shame and need to conceal the patient's illness. This preliminary study suggests that family stigma is low in the early stages of psychotic disorder, a finding that requires further investigation in a larger and more representative sample. This may be an opportune time to engage young people and families, so as to reduce duration of untreated illness. Ethnic differences in stigma, if replicated, highlight the need for cultural sensitivity in engaging individuals and their families in treatment.Early Intervention in Psychiatry 05/2009; 3(2):108-15. DOI:10.1111/j.1751-7893.2009.00116.x · 1.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This article presents the 12-month prevalence estimates of specific mental disorders, their social and demographic correlates, and service use patterns in children and adolescents from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a nationally representative probability sample of noninstitutionalized US civilians. The sample includes 3042 participants 8 to 15 years of age from cross-sectional surveys conducted from 2001 to 2004. Data on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria for mental disorders were derived from administration of selected modules of the National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children, version IV, a structured diagnostic interview administered by lay interviewers to assess psychiatric diagnoses of children and adolescents. Twelve-month prevalence rates of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-defined disorders in this sample were 8.6% for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, 3.7% for mood disorders, 2.1% for conduct disorder, 0.7% for panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder, and 0.1% for eating disorders. Boys had 2.1 times greater prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder than girls, girls had twofold higher rates of mood disorders than boys, and there were no gender differences in the rates of anxiety disorders or conduct disorder. Only approximately one half of those with one of the disorders assessed had sought treatment with a mental health professional. These data constitute a first step in building a national database on mental health in children and adolescents.PEDIATRICS 12/2009; 125(1):75-81. DOI:10.1542/peds.2008-2598 · 5.30 Impact Factor