Parents of children with psychopathology: psychiatric problems and the association with their child’s problems

Middeldorp, Christel M., Wesseldijk, Laura W., Hudziak, James J., Verhulst, Frank C., Lindauer, Ramon J. L. and Dieleman, Gwen C. (2016) Parents of children with psychopathology: psychiatric problems and the association with their child’s problems. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 25 8: 919-927. doi:10.1007/s00787-015-0813-2

Author Middeldorp, Christel M.
Wesseldijk, Laura W.
Hudziak, James J.
Verhulst, Frank C.
Lindauer, Ramon J. L.
Dieleman, Gwen C.
Title Parents of children with psychopathology: psychiatric problems and the association with their child’s problems
Journal name European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1435-165X
Publication date 2016-08-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s00787-015-0813-2
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 25
Issue 8
Start page 919
End page 927
Total pages 9
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publisher Springer Medizin
Language eng
Subject 2735 Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
3204 Developmental and Educational Psychology
1211 Philosophy
2738 Psychiatry and Mental health
Abstract Knowledge is lacking regarding current psychopathology in parents whose children are evaluated in a psychiatric outpatient clinic. This especially accounts for fathers. We provide insight into the prevalence rates of parental psychopathology and the association with their offspring psychopathology by analyzing data on psychiatric problems collected in 701 mothers and 530 fathers of 757 referred children. Prevalence rates of parental psychopathology were based on (sub)clinical scores on the adult self report. Parent–offspring associations were investigated in multivariate analyses taking into account co-morbidity. Around 20 % of the parents had a (sub)clinical score on internalizing problems and around 10 % on attention deficit hyperactivity (ADH) problems. Prevalence rates did not differ between mothers and fathers. Parent–offspring associations did not differ between girls and boys. Maternal anxiety was associated with all offspring problem scores. In addition, maternal ADH problems were associated with offspring ADH problems. Paternal anxiety and ADH problems scores were specifically associated with offspring internalizing and externalizing problem scores, respectively. Associations with offspring psychopathology were of similar magnitude for mothers and fathers and were not influenced by spousal resemblance. Our study shows that both fathers and mothers are at increased risk for psychiatric problems at the time of a child’s evaluation and that their problems are equally associated with their offspring problems. The results emphasize the need to screen mothers as well as fathers for psychiatric problems. Specific treatment programs should be developed for these families in especially high need.
Keyword ADHD
Externalizing symptoms
Familial transmission
Internalizing symptoms
Parental psychopathology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID 20096398
ZonMW 912-10-020
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Child Health Research Centre Publications
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