Adults' Environment and Behavior: Mental Health of Parents

Brief

Adults' Environment and Behavior: Mental Health of Parents

Abstract

A child's well-being depends in part upon the mental health of his or her parents. If a parent's mental health is compromised, he or she may be less able to nurture, love, care for, and pay attention to the child. Several studies indicate that single mothers on welfare with young children are at considerable risk of exhibiting symptoms of depression. Parents with such symptoms provide less emotional support and tend to employ harsh disciplinary practices. Further, children of depressed parents exhibit more behavioral problems, frequently display deficits in social and academic competence, and are in poorer physical health than children of nondepressed parents.

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