Mental illness and substance abuse

The latest material added to the Australian Institute of Family Studies library database is displayed, up to a maximum of 30 items. Where available online, a link to the document is provided. Many items can be borrowed from the Institute's library via the Interlibrary loan system.

See more resources on Mental illness and substance abuse in the AIFS library catalogue

Social-emotional wellbeing from childhood to early adolescence: the benefits of supporting parents

Rioseco P, Warren D and Daraganova G
Hilton, S. Aust. : Emerging Minds, 2020
This paper summarises key findings from a research report on how children's mental health is affected by their parents' parenting and health behaviours. The report used linked data from Medicare and the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) to examine the association between children's social-emotional adjustment from the pre-school years up to early adolescence and parenting behaviours, parental mental health, and parents' smoking and alcohol use. The study found that mothers' mental health and health behaviours had a significant effect on children's social-emotional adjustment. Positive parenting behaviours had a significant positive effect - even during difficult family times - and hostile parenting had a significant negative impact. However, the findings also highlight the value of intervention: children's social-emotional wellbeing could be improved by improvements in parenting behaviours at any stage during childhood

Children's social-emotional wellbeing: the role of parenting, parents' mental health and health behaviours : working paper

Rioseco P, Warren D and Daraganova G
Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2020.
Children's social-emotional adjustment is influenced by a range of different factors, including parenting behaviour and parental mental health. This paper investigates this further, using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). It examines the association between children's social-emotional adjustment and parenting behaviours, parental mental health, and parents' smoking and alcohol use, from before birth through to early adolescence. The study found that mothers' mental health and health behaviours had a significant effect on children's social-emotional adjustment. Positive parenting behaviours by mothers had a significant positive effect on children, while hostile parenting was associated with the largest differences in children's social-emotional outcomes at all ages. Children whose mothers experienced moderate or high levels of psychological distress were more likely to be at an increased risk of social-emotional difficulties at every age, and even mental health problems in pregnancy were associated with later problems for children. However, the findings also highlight the value of intervention: children's social-emotional wellbeing could be improved by improvements in parenting behaviours at any stage during childhood. Note, findings focus largely on mothers due to the availability of data but some findings for fathers are also included.

Adverse childhood experiences: what we know, what we don't know, and what should happen next

Asmussen K, Fischer F, Drayton E and McBride T
London : Early Intervention Foundation, 2020.
Research into adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) consistently shows that a set of 10 adverse experiences in childhood are associated with an increased risk of poor health and other problems in later life. This report examines the ACEs evidence base - in terms of its quality and the conclusions which have followed - and considers the strength of evidence underpinning common responses to ACEs, such as routine ACE screening and trauma-informed care. It identifies what is known about adverse childhood experiences, their relationship with negative outcomes in adulthood, and the effectiveness of current interventions. Based on these findings, the report calls for increasing access to interventions with proven evidence of preventing and reducing ACEs. This report serves as a response to the 2018 House of Commons inquiry on evidence-based early intervention, which held that though there was a strong consensus that ACEs are harmful and associated with a range of negative adult outcomes, there was doubt about the strength of this relationship and the extent to which current practice responses are effective or appropriate.

Connecting up the care: supporting London's children exposed to domestic abuse, parental mental ill-health and parental substance abuse

London Assembly. Health Committee
London : London Assembly Health Committee, 2020.
This paper highlights findings and recommendations from a study into children exposed to three adverse childhood experiences - domestic abuse, parental mental ill-health and parental substance abuse - in combination in London in England. Children's risk of poor outcomes increases as the number of ACEs they experience increases, and these three adversities were chosen as they often occur together. The study aimed to learn more about how services are working for people who experience multiple vulnerabilities, as well as the prevalence of these three adversities in London and what preventative and supportive actions could be taken. Key findings include the importance of information sharing and data collection, multiagency approaches, and trauma-informed approaches to improve service effectiveness and outcomes.

Inequalities in the distribution of childhood adversity from birth to 11 years.

O'Connor M, Slopen N, Becares L, Burgner D, Williams D and Priest N
Academic Pediatrics 11 Dec 2019: Advance online publication
This article estimates the prevalence of childhood adversity in Australia and whether this differs by socioeconomic position, Indigenous status, or ethnicity. Data is taken from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, assessing levels of adversity from infancy to 10/11 years of age. Adversities include family legal problems, family violence, household mental illness, household substance abuse, harsh parenting; separation or divorce, unsafe neighbourhood, bereavement, and bullying. The article estimates that, by 10/11 years of age, over half of all children have been exposed to 2 or more adversities, with children from lower socioeconomic positions or ethnic minority or Indigenous backgrounds at greater risk.

An audit of intake screening and assessment tools used in the family and relationship services sector: summary report

Family & Relationship Services Australia
Fyshwick, ACT : FRSA, 2019.
This report presents findings and case studies from a recent survey of intake screening and assessment tools used in the family and relationship services sector. The survey was completed in 2018 by 49 member organisations of Family & Relationship Services Australia, which included small specialist and larger multi-service organisations delivering a range of federally funded services such as parenting support, intensive family support, family violence, adoption support, family dispute resolution, children's contact services, and financial counselling. All respondents indicated they use some form of screening tool on initial contact with service users, to identify client risk and protective factors. Participants were asked about the types of tools used, how the information is used and reported, who screening is conducted by and their training, and perceived effectiveness of tools. The main social and health problems identified through intake and assessment tools are domestic and family violence, mental illness, substance abuse, and child neglect/abuse, highlighting how family and relationship services have a key role to play in early identification and response. Case studies are included for: Centacare New England North West, Anglicare Sydney, Relationships Australia South Australia (RASA), Ishar Multicultural Women's Health Centre, drummond street services, and Logan Family Relationship Centre.

Cross-over kids: effective responses to children and young people in the youth justice and statutory child protection systems

Baidawi S and Sheehan R
Canberra, A.C.T. : Criminology Research Grants Program, Australian Institute of Criminology, 2019.
This report investigates the overlap of children and young people with child protection backgrounds in the youth justice system, and the factors which contribute to justice system entry and entrenchment. It presents the findings from a two-year case file audit of 300 children and young people appearing before the Victorian Children's Court, combined with consultations with 82 key stakeholders. The audit examined children's exposure to maltreatment and other family adversity - including parental divorce, drug use, mental illness, and death - as well as types of abuse experienced, child protection and out of home care involvement, co-occurring challenges such as learning and behaviour problems, mental health or drug use issues, age at first contact with the justice system, type and severity of offending, recidivism, sentencing outcomes, and regional differences between the courts. The stakeholder were consulted about the characteristics of cross-over children and families, the context and nature of offending among cross-over children, Indigenous children, averting the pathway to the justice system, and responding to offending behaviour. Both data sources emphasised children's dual nature as both victims and offenders, and the systems limitations in acknowledging and responding to children's victimisation. The findings also suggest a need for earlier and more intensive support, as well as the need for a range of strategies for preventing, diverting and responding to these children's criminal justice system involvement.

'Crossover kids': offending by child protection-involved youth

Baidawi S and Sheehan R
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Criminology, 2019.
"The over-representation of children from child protection backgrounds in the youth justice system is a significant and longstanding concern. While the association between child maltreatment and youth offending is established, the pathway of child protection-involved youth to criminal justice outcomes has received little attention. This paper presents selected findings of a detailed case file audit of 300 crossover children appearing before the Victorian Children's Court in 2016-17. Findings explore children's exposure to maltreatment and other adversity, as well as their child protection involvement, co-occurring challenges, offending and sentencing outcomes. The risk factors for earlier and more serious offending are also examined. Results indicate that crossover children present with more serious offending profiles than other court-involved children. The findings emphasise the need to prevent, divert and respond to crossover children's criminal justice contact."--Publisher abstract.

Are young carers less engaged in school than non-carers? Evidence from a representative Australian study.

Hamilton M and Redmond G
Child Indicators Research 24 May 2019: Advance online publication
This article adds to what is known about the poorer school outcomes of young people with caring responsibilities. It investigates whether there are differences in school engagement depending on the underlying issue of the person being cared for, using data from the Australian Child Wellbeing Project for 5,220 children aged 8-14 years old. The study finds little difference in the school engagement of non-carers and young carers of people with disability, but the school engagement of young carers of people with a mental illness or using alcohol/drugs is significantly lower. Young carers who themselves have a disability have even lower levels of engagement.

Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2015

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra, ACT : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019.
Every year in Australia, millions of years of healthy life are effectively lost because of injury, illness or premature deaths: the 'burden of disease'. This report provides estimates of the total, non-fatal and fatal burden for the Australian population in 2015, using the disability-adjusted life years (DALY) measure. DALY estimates are presented for more than 200 diseases and conditions - including mental health and injuries - as well as estimates of the burden attributable to more than 30 risk factors, such as tobacco use and physical inactivity. Comparisons are included for males and females, across age groups, and against the 2003 and 2011 report findings. The methodology is also discussed. A particular finding is that 38% of the estimated burden could have been prevented by addressing lifestyle risk factors.

Adverse childhood experiences and school readiness outcomes: results from the Growing Up in New Zealand study

University of Auckland. Centre for Social Data Analytics, New Zealand. Ministry of Social Development
Wellington N.Z. : Ministry of Social Development, 2019.
This report explores the association between adverse experiences in early childhood and later school readiness, using data from the 'Growing Up in New Zealand' longitudinal study. Adverse experiences include exposure to maltreatment and experiencing parental divorce, family abuse, mental illness, substance abuse, or incarceration, while school readiness was measured with a range of cognitive development tests. The study found that adverse childhood experiences were common in this group: by 54 months old, nearly 53% had experienced at least one adverse experience and 2.6% had experienced 4 or more. These adverse experiences were consistently associated with family income, deprivation, mother's education and age, and partner's age. The study also found a clear dose-response association between adverse experiences and school readiness.

Breaking down the barriers: findings of the National Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Multiple Disadvantage.

National Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Multiple Disadvantage (London, England), Agenda (Charity), Against Violence & Abuse (Organization)
London : Agenda and AVA, 2019.
The National Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Multiple Disadvantage was established by British charities AVA and Agenda to investigate the situation of women who have experienced violence and go on to face a range of other issues including addiction and poor mental health. This report presents the Commission's findings and recommendations. The report provides insights into the challenges facing these women in England and Wales, and looks at: the links between domestic and sexual abuse and multiple disadvantage - particularly mental health, substance use issues, homelessness, and poverty - across women of different identities, in particular race, ethnicity and disability; the experiences of women facing these issues, including their views on what services would best meet their needs and support them to rebuild their lives; current provision to support these women, including gaps and current shortcomings in the system; and evidence, ideas and good practice around how best to support these women. The Commission drew together a panel of leading experts, a Community of Practice of professionals, public submissions, and volunteer peer researchers. Eleven main themes emerged from the data collected; poverty, accessibility, homelessness, the criminal justice system, multiple disadvantage and trauma, trauma-informed response, partnership, parenting, gender-sensitive service provision, funding and commissioning, and early intervention. This final report includes a copy of the report by the peer researchers 'Hand in hand: survivors of multiple disadvantage discuss service & support'.

Estimating the prevalence of the 'toxic trio': evidence from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey

Chowdry H
London : Children's Commissioner for England, 2018.
This report attempts to estimate the number of children in England growing up under the 'toxic trio' of parental mental health issues, parental substance misuse, and domestic abuse. It summarises the approach and results of new analysis using the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, a sample of around 7,500 adults in in England. Though there are limitations with this dataset and the estimates must be taken as a lower figure, it aims to counter-balance the issue of double-counting in other datasets that arises when individual prevalence for each of the issues are added together.

'Are they shouting because of me?': voices of children living in households with domestic abuse, parental substance misuse and mental health issues

Great Britain. Office of the Children's Commissioner
London : Children's Commissioner for England, 2018.
This report looks at life growing up under the 'toxic trio' of mental health, parental substance misuse, and domestic abuse. It presents findings from interviews with 15 children and young people in England about their experiences of living in households with these three issues, including how it affected their emotional wellbeing, school life and relationships with friends, and the ways in which they attempted to cope. Though the participants revealed the problems of living with high levels of tension and unpredictability at home, and about an evolving sense of shame and growing up quickly, they were also very clear about how much they loved and trusted their parents and the great lengths they went not to tell others for fear of being separated.

Hand in hand: survivors of multiple disadvantage discuss service & support

Hailes A
London : Agenda and AVA, 2018.
A National Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Multiple Disadvantage has been established by British charities AVA and Agenda to investigate the situation of women who have experienced violence and go on to face a range of other issues including addiction and poor mental health. As part of this work, volunteer peer researchers were recruited and trained to conduct interviews with other women in their communities to ensure that the voices of those with lived experience were included. This report presents the findings and analysis of these interviews with 29 women from England and Wales, highlighting the far-reaching impacts of abuse and trauma. Topics discussed include types and experiences of abuse, 'honour' based violence and abuse, impacts of abuse, identifying abuse, help-seeking, police, health services, mental health services, substance use services, specialist domestic abuse services, housing and homelessness, and issues relating to children.

Impact of FIFO work arrangements on the mental health and wellbeing of FIFO workers

Parker S and Fruhen L
Perth, W.A. : WA Mental Health Commission, 2018.
The mental health and wellbeing of the sizeable 'fly in fly out' workforce in Western Australia is of great concern. This study was instigated by a 2015 Parliamentary Inquiry which called for further independent research into this issue. In particular, the study investigates the mental health impacts and benefits of FIFO work arrangements on workers and their families, harmful drinking and drug use by workers and its impact on mental health, and the positive and negative coping strategies employed by workers and their families. For this study, mental health includes issues of psychological distress, 'thwarted belonging', 'perceived burdensomeness', suicidality, burnout and mental exhaustion, and emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. Bullying, sleep, and physical pain were also considered. The study involves a review of the literature, a comparison of general population studies against a survey of 3,108 FIFO workers, surveys of 373 partners and 487 former FIFO workers, a longitudinal study of 205 FIFO workers, and qualitative interviews with 24 FIFO workers and 16 family members and friends. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the study. It concludes with actions for organisations and individual FIFO workers and their families to improve mental health.

Sleeping rough: a profile of Specialist Homelessness Services clients.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
Canberra : Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2018.
Rough sleepers are the most visible population experiencing homelessness. This report explores the circumstances, experiences, service needs, and housing outcomes of rough sleepers who sought assistance from specialist homelessness services between over the 4-year period from 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2015. The findings reveal three patterns in service use - persistent service users, service cyclers, and transitory service users - as well as differences between rough sleepers compared to other clients of specialist homelessness services. Compared with other clients, rough sleepers were more likely to be male, unemployed, presenting alone, and have drug, alcohol or mental health issues. The key distinguishing feature of male and female rough sleepers is that females consistently reported domestic and family violence as a reason for seeking assistance - at a level 5 times higher than males.

Factors associated with child protection recurrence in Australia.

Jenkins B, Tilbury C, Hayes H and Mazerolle P
Child Abuse and Neglect v. 81 Jul 2018: 181-191
There is much research into what factors are associated with repeated child protection involvement, but most of these studies have been conducted in the United States. This article investigates whether the same identified child, family, and case factors are also associated with repeated child protection involvement in the Australian context. It analyses administrative child protection data from Queensland, for a sample of 9,608 children first reported to authorities in 2010/2011. The analysis finds that the factors associated with recurrence in Australia were broadly similar to those identified in overseas studies, including child protection intervention, younger age, prior child protection involvement in the household, Indigenous background, and parental characteristics including drug use, mental health problems, and history of maltreatment as a child.

The mental health of sons and daughters of Australian Vietnam veterans.

O'Toole B, Dadds M, Outram S and Catts S
International Journal of Epidemiology v. 47 no. 4 Aug 2018: 1051-1059
Research has found that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in combat veterans increases the risk of PTSD in their children, but are these children at significantly higher risk than the general population, and are they at risk of having other mental health problems? This article investigates the mental health of adult children of Australian Vietnam veterans, drawing on a survey of 133 sons and 182 daughters from a cohort of 179 veteran families. It examines exposure to different types of trauma, prevalence of mental illness, and suicidality, as compared with the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. The study finds that the children of veterans were more likely than the general population to report exposure to traumas such as natural disasters, fire, explosions, or transport accidents, with veteran's sons more likely to report exposure to toxic chemicals and veteran's daughters more likely to report sexual assault. Higher prevalences of alcohol and drug dependence, depression and anxiety, and PTSD were also reported.

Improving service responses to vulnerable families during pregnancy and infancy: final report

Parkinson S, Gunawan A, Lewig K, Flaherty R and Arney F
Canberra, A.C.T. : Dept. of Social Services, 2017.
This study summarises what is known about strategies for working with expectant, new and vulnerable parents where alcohol and other drug, mental health and domestic and family violence issues occur. It reviews the evidence from Australia and overseas and consults experts on how strategies may be utilised in the Australian context. The elements that may contribute to successful outcomes and successful targeted outcome areas are also highlighted. Strategies reviewed include home visitation programs, behavioural and psychosocial programs, collaborative approaches, workforce development and screening and assessment processes.

Risks for mental illness in Indigenous Australian children : a descriptive study demonstrating high levels of vulnerability.

Twizeyemariya A, Guy S, Furber G and Segal L
Milbank Quarterly v. 95 no. 2 Jun 2017: 319-357
Adverse childhood experiences can often lead to poor mental health in adulthood. This article investigates the prevalence of such risk factors among Indigenous children in Australia. Drawing on data from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (LSIC), it presents estimates on the prevalence of risks for later mental illness, as well identifying current levels of psychological distress in children from infancy to 10 years of age. Childhood risk factors for later mental illness in adulthood include family adversity and disruption, child maltreatment, parenting problems, and alcohol use or smoking during pregnancy. The findings indicate that Indigenous children face high levels of multiple disadvantage, placing them at significant risk of developing mental illness. High numbers of Indigenous children - 22.5% - are also experiencing psychological distress currently - as compared with just over 8% of children from the general population.

Consequences of bullying victimization in childhood and adolescence : a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Moore S, Norman R, Suetani S, Thomas H, Sly P and Scott J
World Journal of Psychiatry v. 7 no. 1 2017: 60-76
This article reviews the literature on the association between being bullied in childhood or adolescence and a range of adverse health and psychosocial problems at any age, including depression, anxiety, poor mental health, poor general health, self-injury, suicide, smoking, and illicit drug use. In particular, it assesses the strength of evidence for a causal relationship in this association. The findings show there is strong evidence that bullying victimisation causes mental health problems.

A heavy burden on young minds : the global burden of mental and substance use disorders in children and youth.

Erskine H, Moffitt T, Copeland  , Costello E, Ferrari A, Patton G, Degenhardt L, Vos T, Whiteford H and Scott J
Psychological Medicine v. 45 no. 7 May 2017: 1551-1563
This article aims to determine the burden of mental and substance disorders in children and youth aged 0?24 years old around the world. It investigates what is known about both the scale and patterns of this burden, drawing on data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 to assess Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), Years lived with disability (YLDs), and Years of life lost due to premature mortality (YLLs). Though the data is limited, it identified that mental and substance use disorders are the leading cause of disability in children and youth globally, and the sixth leading contributor to disease burden in this age group.

The prevalence of allegations of family violence on proceedings before the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

Harman J
Family Law Review v. 7 no. 1 2017: 3-19
This article examines the prevalence of allegations of family violence from the perspective of their impact on the workload of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. Based on a sample of 201 parenting cases from a 14 week period in 2015/16, it looks at the prevalence of family violence or child abuse allegations, past involvement with police or child welfare agencies, the prevalence of mental illness or substance abuse allegations, concurrence of allegations, legal representation, appointment of children's lawyers, delay to court, and comparison with allegations of family violence in the general community. The findings highlight the complexity of cases before the Federal Circuit Court and the demands they make on court resources.

Strengthening prevention and early intervention services for families into the future

Toumbourou J, Hartman D, Field K, Jeffery R, Brady J, Heaton A, Ghayour Minaie M and Heerde J
Australia : FRSA and Deakin University, 2017.
Many of Australia's health and social problems are preventable, and many arise from modifiable risk factors in families and child development. This paper aims to initiate discussion as to how a coordinated strategy to increase family-based prevention and early intervention services could be utilised to prevent eight priority problems: substance abuse, antisocial behaviour and crime, obesity, mental illness, developmental injury such as from foetal alcohol problems or child maltreatment, chronic illness, school failure, and social exclusion. The paper analyses the potential for family and relationship services to contribute to solutions for these key problems and presents recommendations for coordinating strategies to increase family and relationship-based prevention and early intervention services in Australia. It also discusses prevention and early intervention frameworks, how family and relationship services may increase protective factors, the need for advances in intake screening and assessment, the strengths within these services that support this approach, challenges for services taking on a prevention role, and the economic benefits of this approach.

An evaluation of a service to keep children safe in families with mental health and/or substance abuse issues.

Coates D and Howe D
Australasian Psychiatry v. 24 no. 5 2016: 483-488
This article evaluates a specialised program to assist families with child safety concerns and parental mental health or drug and alcohol problems. The program, in New South Wales, aimed to improve parenting capacity, child safety, and family functioning. The study evaluates client data over 3 years, investigating improvement between intake and discharge.

'Everyone knew everyone's business' : being a parent with housing issues in rural areas.

Reupert A, Jones R, Sutton K and Maybery D
Journal of Sociology v. 52 no. 4 Dec 2016: 677-692
This article provides insights into the relationships between parenting, housing, and mental illness and substance abuse issues in rural communities. It explores the experiences of 13 parents facing both housing and mental health or drug and alcohol issues, raising themes of the intersection between the parenting role and housing difficulties, child contact while living in inadequate housing, privacy and service utilisation in a small town, and the interrelationship of mental illness, substance use, housing difficulties, and child custody.

Engaging young people: using the pathways young people take in and out of homelessness as the foundation for a person centred service culture

Johnson G, Cook K and Sesa S
Melbourne : Melbourne City Mission, 2016.
This report was commissioned to examine young people's access to and use of homelessness services, to help inform the work Melbourne City Mission. It investigates young people's pathways into the homelessness service system, their service histories and experiences, which services and programs most effectively facilitated positive outcomes, and the capacity of services to take family context and connections into account when addressing homelessness. The reports draws on 45 in-depth interviews with people aged 16-24 years old, with follow-up interviews with 26 of the original participants six months later. Of the 45 initial participants, most were single, one quarter had been in out-of-home care, nearly two thirds had received treatment for mental health issues, and over a third reported problematic substance use. The report identifies patterns of service use, patterns of outcomes, and the implications for policy and practice.

Domestic and family violence and co-occurring mental health issues and addictions : common stories in a reinforcing social system.

Morris B
The Australian 2015 STOP Domestic Violence Conference : connecting the dots conference : conference proceedings - peer reviewed. Nerang, Qld. : Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association, 2016: 28-65
Mothers with co-occurring trauma-based mental health and substance use issues resulting from domestic violence face significant barriers in trying to remain as caregivers to their children while they strive to recover. This paper presents qualitative data collected over 18 years in a dual-diagnosis 24/7 recovery centre, illustrated in a case study that highlights the shared key experiences of these mothers. Sections include: Powerlessness within institutional frameworks; Powerlessness within intimate family systems; Recovery needs of mothers who have experienced generational violence with co-occurring mental ill health and substance use challenges; Toxic family modelling cycles; Common requests from mothers in the residential recovery centre; Coping cycles; Trauma cycles and transitional concerns; Issues that were commonly reported by mothers in the residential centre regarding their future capacity to care for children in stable environments after their recovery; and Socio-political barriers to mothers accessing recovery with their children in dual-diagnosis residential treatment centres.

Child aware practice in adult social services : a scoping review.

Tilbury C, Walsh P and Osmond J
Australian Social Work v. 69 no. 3 2016: 260-272
The development of 'child aware' practice is about the capacity and capability of adult health and social service providers to identify and respond to the needs of children. A scoping review of the literature considered five adult adversities associated with family stress and reduced parenting capacity: mental illness, alcohol and substance abuse, homelessness, intellectual disability, and domestic violence. Although there are specific needs for children pertaining to particular adversities, there was substantial commonality of potential effects. These included emotional and psychological difficulties, physical and mental health problems, academic difficulties, language delays, peer difficulties, stigma, trauma reactions, loss and grief, instability, and social exclusion. How children react to difficulties in their family depends upon various protective factors, a child's frame of reference, and other dynamics within the family that can offset risks. The findings aim to inform policy, program development, and practice in adult social services, enhancing their responsiveness to children. (Journal article)
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