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It had been a week since her dad shoved her into the wall, but her finger still hurt a lot. Amy hated the way her dad called her names and accused her of all sorts of things she didn't do, especially after he had been drinking. It was the worst feeling and she just kept hoping he would stop.

Abuse (for Teens) - KidsHealth

Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, or a combination of any or all of these. Abuse can also be neglect, which is when parents or guardians don't take care of the basic needs of the children who depend on them. Physical abuse is often the most easily recognized form of abuse.

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If a family member sexually abuses another family member, this is called incest. Emotional abuse can be the most difficult to identify because there are usually no outward signs of the abuse. Emotional abuse happens when yelling and anger go too far or when parents constantly criticize, threaten, or dismiss kids or teens until their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth are damaged. Emotional abuse can hurt and cause damage just as physical abuse does.

Neglect is difficult to identify and define. Neglect occurs when a child or teen doesn't have adequate food, housing, clothes, medical care, or supervision. Emotional neglect happens when a parent doesn't provide enough emotional support or deliberately and consistently pays very little or no attention to a child. This doesn't mean that a parent doesn't give a kid something he or she wants, like a new computer or a cell phone, but refers to more basic needs like food, shelter, and love.

Family violence can affect anyone. It can happen in any kind of family. Sometimes parents abuse each other, which can be hard for a child to witness. Some parents abuse their kids by using physical or verbal cruelty as a way of discipline. Abuse doesn't just happen in families, of course. Bullying is a form of abusive behavior. Bullying someone through intimidation, threats, or humiliation can be just as abusive as beating someone up. People who bully others may have been abused themselves.

This is also true of people who abuse someone they're dating. But being abused is no excuse for abusing someone else.

Life is unfair and it’s a parent’s job to ensure children know it

Abuse can also take the form of hate crimes directed at people just because of their race, religion, abilities, gender, or sexual orientation. It may sound strange, but people sometimes have trouble recognizing that they are being abused. Recognizing abuse may be especially difficult for someone who has lived with it for many years. A person might think that it's just the way things are and that there's nothing that can be done.

People who are abused might mistakenly think that it's their fault for not doing what their parents tell them, breaking rules, or not living up to someone's expectations.

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Somebody who has only known an abusive relationship might mistakenly think that hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, or angry name-calling are perfectly normal ways to treat someone when you're mad. Seeing parents treat each other in abusive ways might lead a child to think that's OK in relationships. But abuse is not a typical or healthy way to treat people. If you're not sure you are being abused, or if you suspect a friend is, it's always OK to ask a trusted adult or friend.

If you're one of the thousands of people living in an abusive situation, it can help to understand why some people abuse — and to realize that the abuse is not your fault. But that's not true. There is no single reason why people abuse others. But some factors seem to make it more likely that someone may lose control, yell, hit, or hurt. Others become abusive because they're not able to manage their feelings properly. For example, someone who is unable to control anger or can't cope with stressful personal situations like the loss of a job or marriage problems may lash out at others inappropriately.

Depression is the most common mental illness. But many parents who experience mental illness have not been formally diagnosed, and patients with a diagnosis of mental illness often are not identified as being parents. It is particularly challenging to estimate the number of parents with severe mental illness often defined as schizophrenia, psychosis, and bipolar disorder. The relevant research typically has assessed individuals in community settings community service agencies, mental health clinics, child welfare agencies, prisons, or hospitals , who likely do not represent the broader population Nicholson et al.

Analysis of data from the National Co-Morbidity Survey suggests that approximately one-half of mothers In another study, among adults identified with severe persistent mental illness, approximately two-thirds of women and three-quarters of men were also parents Gearing et al. Mental health disorders encompass a wide spectrum of illnesses and levels of severity, and symptoms may wax and wane over time; thus their impact on parenting and the supports these parents need can be quite variable. As with prevalence, far more is known about the impact of depression on parenting Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, than about the impact of severe mental illness Bee et al.

The IOM and NRC report describes research showing that parental depression is associated with more negative and withdrawn parenting and with worse physical health and well-being of children. But the same report describes a number of promising two-generational programs focused on prevention and emphasizes the potential for helping parents with treatment and parenting programs. For individuals with mental illness, being a parent is not only a challenge but also often one of the most rewarding parts of their lives Dolman et al.

However, mental illness also can interfere with the quality of parenting. A cross-sectional study using video observation of depressed mothers with their toddlers demonstrated that those with more severe depressive symptoms engaged in fewer positive interactions and more negative interactions with.


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  8. Children of parents with mental illness also have a higher risk of developing their own mental health issues, developmental delays, and behavioral problems Beardslee et al. There have been few high-quality large-scale evaluations of interventions designed for parents with mental illness and even fewer of those for parents with severe mental illness. However, many universal interventions have the potential to prevent or mitigate mental illness before it has serious impacts on parenting, and a number of smaller studies have shown positive or promising results of such interventions.

    For example, the MOMS Partnership, operated by Yale University, interviewed more than 1, low-income urban mothers of young children to create a set of developmental and community-based mental health and workforce supports Smith, Early results based on a participant questionnaire reveal an increase in positive parenting and reduction in depression Smith, A number of programs are designed to prevent adverse child outcomes among families with known parental mental illness.

    The evidence for treating maternal depression for mothers of infants, however, is mixed. Several reviews found that while sustained interventions may improve the cognitive development of the child, additional research is needed to determine the success of these treatments over time, particularly with regard to the benefits for the child as well as the mother Nylen et al.

    Forman and colleagues. Nonetheless, most studies have demonstrated that interventions combining mental health treatment and parenting support, or at least including a component focused on parenting, often lead to better outcomes relative to programs that focus solely on the illness. A systematic review of the impact of maternal-infant dyadic interventions on postpartum depression included 19 single group pre-post and randomized controlled studies.

    The author concluded that strategies focused on the dyad and maternal coaching were most effective at reducing psychiatric symptoms and demonstrated modest improvements in the mother-child relationship and maternal responsiveness Tsivos et al. Not all such approaches are successful, however. A Cochrane review assessing the impact specifically of parent-infant psychotherapy versus control or an alternative intervention found no significant effects of the psychotherapy on maternal depression or the mother-child dyad Barlow et al.

    With the advent of primary care medical homes and the resultant integration of physical, mental, and behavioral health care, there has been growing interest in incorporating parenting interventions and support into primary care settings. This may be a particularly effective way of diagnosing and addressing parental mental health issues. Parents may be more willing to seek health care for their children than for themselves, but during pediatric visits, health care providers may identify a parent who would benefit from mental health treatment Nicholson and Clayfield, Screening adults for depression in primary care settings with the capacity to provide accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and follow-up is endorsed by the U.

    Preventive Services Task Force Models of stepped collaborative care entail screening for and identifying depression in primary care settings and providing straightforward care in those locations while referring patients with more severe or resistant illness to mental health specialists Dennis, Additional primary prevention programs for parental depression have focused on the period from conception through age 5, although most address parents with infants rather than those with toddlers Bee et al.

    Selective primary prevention of depression among parents has been tested most frequently in the perinatal period, with most programs targeting high-risk groups, such as mothers with preterm infants or those at increased risk for postpartum depression Ammerman et al. The perinatal period appears to be an effective time to reach a broad population of parents. Home visiting programs discussed in detail in Chapter 4 serve parents with high rates of depression, interpersonal trauma, and PTSD, yet less than.

    Early studies examining the mental health benefits of home visiting interventions for parents had mixed results, but the results of more recent studies have been positive. In recent studies, for example, home visiting that includes psychotherapy for mothers has been found to improve depression, and as depression improves, so do many measures of parenting Ammerman et al.


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    A randomized controlled trial enrolled women in home visiting programs who were identified as being at risk for perinatal depression Tandon et al. The intervention consisted of six 2-hour group sessions focused on cognitive-behavioral therapy, with skills being reinforced during regular home visits. At 6-month follow-up, 15 percent of mothers in the intervention group versus 32 percent of the control mothers had experienced an episode of major depression Tandon et al.

    In a randomized trial of the Building Healthy Children Collaborative, there was no difference in rate of referral to child protective services for mothers who received mental health services as part of home visits and women in a comparison group who did not receive such services; in both groups, almost all mothers avoided referral to child protective services Paradis et al.

    There also have been efforts to help parents with children in center-based care. In a randomized controlled trial of depressed mothers who had infants and toddlers in Early Head Start, investigators tested interpersonal therapy combined with parenting enhancement training versus just treatment for the depression Beeber et al.

    Both groups had a significant improvement in depression scores, but only the group with parent training showed enhanced parent-child interaction skills. Beardslee and colleagues describe a nonrandomized, multiyear, multicomponent pilot intervention with parents, staff, and administration in an Early Head Start program serving up to children a year. The intervention, Family Connections, was intended to help staff with strategies for addressing mental health problems in the families they served. The program, which was provided to all the families, not just those identified as suffering from depression, utilized widespread education of staff and parents and a parent support group.

    It resulted in improved parent self-reported parenting knowledge and social support and increased parent engagement with the center. Other approaches have been tried in public health settings.

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    Both interventions improved child mental health symptoms and behaviors. Family Talk utilizes manual-based psychoeducation prevention strategies. One study of 93 families with. While parents with brief or time-limited mental health problems can benefit from brief interventions, those with severe mental illness or more complex mental health disorders are likely to need ongoing support and crisis intervention services.