Parental Mental Illness: Cross-Sectional Analysis Of Family Focused Practice within the Early Childhood Sector
- 309 Downloads
During the preschool years (3–5 years), children living with parental mental illness are more at risk of various adverse developmental outcomes, compared to other children. Early childhood services are opportune settings for prevention and early intervention strategies that may support preschool children living with parental mental illness. However, there is limited research examining how the early childhood sector supports the child, parent and family. The aim of the study was to explore family focused practices within the early childhood sector in terms of the level of self-perceived knowledge, skill and confidence; and compare the self-perceived knowledge, skill and confidence between preschool teachers and childcare workers. A sample of 40 preschool teachers and 39 childcare providers rated themselves across eight domains that describe their knowledge, confidence and skill using the Family Focused Mental Health Practice Questionnaire (FFMHPQ). Overall, the sample rated themselves positively across all domains. In a cross-sectional analysis, a t-statistic comparison of preschool teachers and childcare providers showed that childcare providers scored significantly higher than preschool teachers in parenting support, referrals and assessing the impact of parental illness on the child. Future studies might identify the barriers and enablers for Family Focus Practice (FFP) across different groups of workers in the early childhood sector.
In the case of Manuscript JCFS-D-16-00526, the nature and extent of the author contribution to the work was the following: S.L.: Designed and executed the study, conducted the data analysis and wrote the paper. M.G.: collaborated with the design, assisted with the data analysis and wrote part of the results. A.R.: collaborated with the design and writing and editing of the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Ethical approval was provided by the Monash University Human Ethics Committee. Reasearch involving human participants: All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
- ACECQA. (2014). Australian children’s education and care quality authority. http://www.acecqa.gov.au/, Accessed 27 Jan 2015Google Scholar
- AICAFMHA. (2001). Children of parents affected by mental illness-scoping project. http://www.aicafmha.net.au/projects/scoping/children.htm, Accessed 26 Sept 2016.Google Scholar
- AIHW. (2015). Literature review of the impact of early childhood education and care on learning and development. http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129552947. Accessed 26 Sept 2016Google Scholar
- Beardslee, W., Ayoub, C., Avery, M. W., Watts, C., & O’Carroll, K. (2010). Family connections: An approach for strengthening early care systems in facing depression and adversity. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80(4), 482–495. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-0025.2010.01051.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Clement, S., Schauman, O., Graham, T., Maggioni, F., Evans-Lacko, S., Bezborodovs, N., & Thornicroft, G. (2015). What is the impact of mental health-related stigma on help-seeking? A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies. Psychological Medicine, 45(01), 11–27. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291714000129.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- DECS. (2006). Healthy minds/healthy futures: Child mental health and wellbeing study. Predicting and improving mental health resilience in early childhood. Summary of research findings from 2005 for educators. http://www.decd.sa.gov.au/speced2/files/pages/chess/hsp/Research/final_2005_teacher_results.pdf.Google Scholar
- Falkov, A. (2012). The family model handbook: An integrated approach to supporting mentally ill parents and their children. London: Pavilion.Google Scholar
- Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics. London, England: Sage.Google Scholar
- Giannakopoulos, G., Agapidaki, E., Dimitrakaki, C., Oikonomidou, D., Petanidou, D., Tsermidou, L., & Papadopoulou, K. (2014). Early childhood educators’ perceptions of preschoolers’ mental health problems: A qualitative analysis. Annals of General Psychiatry, 13(1), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1186/1744-859X-13-1.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Goodyear, M., Obradovic, A., Allchin, B., Cuff, R., McCormick, F., & Cosgriff, C. (2015). Building capacity for cross-sectorial approaches to the care of families where a parent has a mental illness. Advances in Mental Health, 13(2), 153–164. https://doi.org/10.1080/18387357.2015.1063972.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Grant, A., Goodyear, M., Maybery, D., & Reupert, A. (2015). Differences between Irish and Australian psychiatric nurses’ family-focused practice in adult mental health services. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apnu.2015.07.005.
- Hosman, C. M., van Doesum, K. T., & van Santvoort, F. (2009). Prevention of emotional problems and psychiatric risks in children of parents with a mental illness in the netherlands: I. The scientific basis to a comprehensive approach. Australian e-Journal for the Advancement of Mental Health, 8(3), 250–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Laletas, S., Reupert, A., & Goodyear, M. (2017). “What do we do? This is not our area”. Childcare providers’ experiences when working with families and preschool children living with parental mental illness. Children and Youth Services Review, 74, 71–79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.01.024.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Reupert, A., Cuff, R., Drost, L., Foster, K., van Doesum, K., & van Santvoort, F. (2012). Intervention programs for children whose parents have a mental illness: A review. Medical Journal of Australia Opening, 1(1), 18–22.Google Scholar
- Roberts, W. (2015). Enabling change through education for children and their families experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage: The understandings of early childhood professionals. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 40, 49–56.Google Scholar
- Sanden, S., Ernst, J. C. D., Hamann, K., Quesenberry, A., Latham, N. I., Christianson, D., & Smyrniotis, A. (2016). Supporting early childhood workforce development and pathways: Developing a competency-based assessment system in illinois. In S. A. Bernoteit, J. C. D. Ernst & N. I. Latham (Eds.), Voices from the field (pp. 201) Springfield, Illinois: Illinois Education Research Council and Illinois Board of Higher Education.Google Scholar
- Stepp, S. D., Whalen, D. J., Pilkonis, P. A., Hipwell, A. E., & Levine, M. D. (2012). Children of mothers with borderline personality disorder: Identifying parenting behaviors as potential targets for intervention. Personality Disorders, 3(1), 76–91. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023081.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Vandenbroucke, J. P., von Elm, E., Altman, D. G., Gøtzsche, P. C., Mulrow, C. D., Pocock, S. J., & Egger, M. (2014). Strengthening the reporting of observational studies in epidemiology (strobe): Explanation and elaboration. International Journal of Surgery, 12(12), 1500–1524. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsu.2014.07.014.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar