J Med Assoc Thai 2011; 94 (12):86

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Parenting, Parent and Child Mental Health in the Families of Maltreated Children Registered with the Child Protection Unit, Thammasat University Hospital
Chaopricha S Mail, Lerthattasilp T , Pimsungkul K

Background: Mental health outcomes of maltreated children can be various. There are mediated by several factors including parental and family variables. Less is known in Thailand on how these variables and children’s mental health are related.
Objective: To study mental health of the maltreated children and their parents and to examine the relationships between parent mental health, parenting behaviors, family function and child mental health.
Material and Method: A sample of 48 parents who contacted mental health service via the child protection unit from October 2009 to 2010 was recruited in this cross-sectional study. Child mental health, parent mental health, parenting behaviors and family functions were measured by the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaires-parent version, General Health Questionaire-28, the Conflict Tactic Scale parent-child version and Chulalongkorn Family Inventory, respectively. Chi-square test was conducted to explore the associations between each independent variable and child mental health.
Results: Thirty-eight point six percent of the children and 56.8% of the parents had mental health problems. Poor family function (OR = 24.6; 95% CI = 2.8, 219.1) and negative parental behaviors (OR = 5.9; 95% CI = 1.3, 26.3) had statistically significant relationships with child mental health problem.
Conclusion: Mental health problems were prevalent among the maltreated children and their parents. Parent training programs focusing on positive parenting strategies and enhancing family function may be beneficial to maltreated children and their parents in order to improve their mental health.

Keywords: Child maltreatment, Child mental health, Parent mental health, Parenting, Family function


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