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.
Parents with a mental illness and child abuse/neglect
European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 4 Feb 2020: Advance online publication
This article looks into patterns of social-emotional and cognitive vulnerability across childhood. It compares levels of vulnerability in early childhood, at around age 5-6, and in middle childhood, at around age 10-11, and investigates what factors influence children' transition between different levels of vulnerability as they get older. Data is taken fpr 19,087 children and their parents from the New South Wales Child Development Study. The analysis identified 3 developmental profiles in early childhood - typically developing, emotionally vulnerable, and cognitively vulnerable - and 2 developmental profiles in middle childhood - typically developing and vulnerable in both social-emotional and cognitive areas. Though most children were found to be typically developing in early childhood, this had decreased by middle childhood, with children in contact with child protection or with parents with mental illness at particular risk.
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
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.
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.
Peer-reviewed papers from the FRSA 2019 National Conference : new horizons - building the future, paving the way. Fyshwick, ACT : Family & Relationship Services Australia, 2019: 4-15
This paper explores the relationship between parent and child mental health and the role of family adjustment. It analyses data supplied by 399 parents attending Family Mental Health Support Services or Family and Relationship Services at drummond street services, in Melbourne, Victoria, regarding their presenting child's mental distress and behaviour problems, the parent's own mental health, parenting style, and family adjustment. The findings highlight the importance of a whole-of-family approach for improving the mental health and wellbeing of children and parents. There was evidence of transference of mental health between parents and children, varying across child age groups, and that adult mental health indirectly predicted child mental health through the role of family adjustment and coercive parenting.
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.
Sydney NSW : ANROWS, 2017.
This sheet highlights the impact of inter-parental conflict on parenting and children's health and development. It presents statistics on the rate of inter-parental conflict experienced by mothers and its association with poorer mental health and parenting as well as poorer physical health and development in their children. Data is taken from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, as part of a research study into the impact of domestic and family violence on parenting capacity and parent-child relationships.
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.
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.
Journal of Family Psychology v. 33 no. 6 Sep 2019: 730-741
This article investigates the associations between children's exposure to postnatal intimate partner violence and their emotional-behavioural wellbeing at 10 years of age. In particular it investigates whether a mediating role is played by maternal depression, economic disadvantage, involvement in home learning activities at 4 years of age, and child gender. Data is taken from the Maternal Health Study from Melbourne, Victoria. The findings indicate that postnatal intimate partner violence was associated with higher maternal depression when the child was 4 years of age, which was associated with child emotional-behavioural problems at 10 years of age, regardless of any continued exposure to violence or maternal depression. Differences by economic status were also seen.
Psychological Medicine 10 April 2019: Advance online publication
This article investigates the links between maternal mental health and infant emotional problems. It compares maternal mental health during the preconception, antenatal, and postnatal periods and child emotional reactivity at 1 year of age. Data is taken from two intergenerational longitudinal studies: the Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study and the Australian Temperament Project Generation 3 study, also from Victoria. The study finds that mothers with persistent mental health problems before pregnancy were twice as likely to have an infant with high emotional reactivity. Mental health problems in the antenatal and postnatal periods are also associated with infant emotional reactivity, but this association is largely due to mental health problems before pregnancy. The possible mechanisms are also discussed.
Australia : Gidget Foundation Australia, 2019.
Perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA) during pregnancy and the first year after birth is a common condition and affects 1 in 5 mothers and 1 in 10 fathers in Australia. This report presents estimates on the cost of PNDA to the health system, economy and wellbeing of those impacted. In 2019, PNDA is estimated to cost $877m, such as increased use of health and social services, increased risk of chronic illness and substance abuse, increased risk of child health and developmental risks, and productivity losses from increased workforce exit, absenteeism, and carer role. These costs are substantial for both parent and child in the short to medium term and also lifetime.
Canberra : Productivity Commission, 2019.
The Productivity Commission is now undertaking an inquiry into the role of improving mental health to support economic participation and enhancing productivity and economic growth. This draft report has been prepared for further public consultation and input. It presents the draft findings and recommendations of the inquiry to date, drawing upon the many submissions received so far. It finds that mental ill-health is widespread, with costs to the Australian economy of at least $43 to $51 billion per year, plus another $130 billion associated with diminished health and reduced life expectancy. The treatment of mental illness has been tacked on to a health system that has been largely designed around the characteristics of physical illness, but also many people who do seek treatment are not receiving the level of care they need. The report presents draft recommendations for reforming prevention and early intervention, addressing critical gaps in healthcare service availability and delivery, and assisting people with mental illness to get into work and enable early treatment of work-related mental illness. Chapters include: Draft recommendations and findings; The case for major reform; What mental ill-health and suicide are costing Australia; Re-orienting health services to consumers; Primary mental healthcare; Supported online treatment; Specialist community mental health services; Emergency and acute inpatient services; Physical and substance use comorbidities; Towards integrated care: linking consumers and services; Mental health workforce; Psychosocial support; Carers and families; Income and employment support; Housing and homelessness; Justice; Interventions in early childhood and school education; Youth economic participation; Mentally healthy workplaces; Social participation and inclusion; Suicide prevention; Federal roles and responsibilities; and Funding arrangements.
Sydney, N.S.W. : NSW Government, 2019
This paper presents a new actuarial model to guide investment to vulnerable families and presents estimates on future service use and costs for selected at risk groups in New South Wales. This model was developed by the Taylor Fry consulting firm to guide funding under the NSW Government's 'Their Futures Matter' reforms, which aim to deliver improved outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and their families through a coordinated, wrap-around, and evidence-based service system. The paper explains the approach of the model and sets out data for several key vulnerable groups: young children aged 0-5, young adolescents, young people transitioning to adulthood, young mothers, children of young mothers, young adolescents with parental mental health risk factors, young people using mental health services, and the 1,000 individuals with highest service costs. Under each group it looks at characteristics, estimated future cost of government services, projected future social outcomes, and within group variations. It models data from linked state and commonwealth data concerning child protection, housing and homelessness services, justice, health, education, mental health, alcohol and drugs, parental risk factors, and welfare. This paper is intended to support business cases for new policies and interventions aimed at improving outcomes for vulnerable children and families.
Child and Family Social Work v. 24 no. 4 Nov 2019: 601-609
This article explores how growing up with a parent with mental illness affects children's own parenting style and relationships later in adulthood. It compares the views of 86 adults on parenting, adult attachment, and relationship satisfaction, comparing adults with a parent with a mental illness and adults from the general population. The study found little difference between the groups, though the adult children of parents with mental illness were found to be more permissive in their parenting and may need additional parent education.
Journal of Child and Family Studies v. 28 no. 8 Aug 2019: 2056-2068
This article explores the views of adults who grew up with a parent with serious mental illness. It reviews qualitative studies from around the world, including Australia, on how adults' lives are affected by growing up with a parent with serious mental illness, their childhood experiences, and the support they received during their childhood and as adults. The findings highlight the lifelong impacts of this childhood experience and the ongoing need for support.
Bonn, Germany : IZA, 2019.
This paper investigates how flexible working conditions for fathers can help new mothers' physical and mental health. It analyses the impact of a social insurance reform in Sweden from 2012 that granted fathers the flexibility to take up to 30 days of paid leave on an intermittent basis alongside the mother. The reform increased the likelihood of fathers using any post-baseline leave in the first two and six months after childbirth. In turn, increasing father flexibility and thus availability reduced the risk of the mother experiencing physical postpartum health complications, as seen in reduced likelihoods of mothers' getting any antibiotic and anti-anxiety prescription drugs. The findings suggest that mothers bear the burden from a lack of workplace flexibility - not only directly through greater career costs of family formation, as previously documented - but also indirectly, as fathers' inability to respond to domestic shocks exacerbates the maternal health costs of childbearing. The findings also have important implications for debates about workplace flexibility and paid family leave policies.
2018 AIFS Conference highlights. Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019: 3p
This article highlights key findings from a recent study into the work-family conflicts experienced by fathers and whether it has an adverse impact on their mental health. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, the study explored fathers' employment characteristics, changes over time in work-family pressures and conflict, and mental health. The study found that fathers' work-family conflict is powerfully linked to mental health, but also that supportive workplaces factors such as workplace flexibility, job security, reasonable work hours, and control over work scheduling can also play a protective role. This article is adapted from the presentation 'Job quality, change and stability in work-family conflict and fathers' mental health', presented by Amanda Cooklin at the AIFS 2018 conference.
2018 AIFS Conference highlights. Southbank, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2019: 3p
This article highlights key findings from a recent study into the work-family conflicts experienced by fathers and whether it has adverse impacts on children's mental health. Using data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, the study explored fathers' experiences of competing demands in parenting and work and found that parenting and relationship resources deteriorate when fathers' work-family conflict increases or is sustained. This in turn affects children's socio-emotional development and wellbeing. This article is adapted from the presentation 'The impact of change and stability in fathers' work-family conflict on children's mental health', presented by Liana Leach at the AIFS 2018 conference.
Archives of Women's Mental Health 17 Jan 2019: Advance online publication
Research has found an association between depression in women from before they conceive and their children's psychosocial functioning. This article investigates whether post-birth maternal depression, post-birth maternal stress, and parenting quality mediates this association. It uses data from the MatCH (Mothers and their Children's Health) Study, a project within the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH). 2,917 women from the 1973-78 ALWSH cohort were invited to complete an additional survey about the health and development of their children. The findings have implications on tailoring interventions for depression in women considering pregnancy and mothers of young children.
Canberra, A.C.T. : Criminology Research Grants Program, Australian Institute of Criminology, 2019.
This study adds to what is known about filicide in Australia. The killing of a child by their parent is a rare event and inconsistently recorded in homicide data, which presents challenges for identifying trends and patterns and developing prevention measures. The study analysed state and territory homicide data from the 12-year period from 2000-01 to 2011-12, regarding the number and characteristics of filicide incidents, victims and offenders. On average, a child is killed by a parent every two weeks in Australia, and this rate has remained relatively stable over time despite decreases in total homicides and domestic homicides. The involvement of intimate partner violence, mental illness, and parental separation were also identified. The findings are also summarised in the trends & issues in crime and criminal justice paper 'Filicide offenders'.
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.
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'.
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse v. 28 no. 5 2019: 511-525
This article looks at one long-term impact of adverse childhood experiences - their impact on increased health care expenditure in adulthood. It investigates the prevalence of childhood adversity - from having a household member with a mental illness to experiencing psychological abuse - and compares these women's spending on primary, allied, and specialist healthcare services over the 20 years from 1996-2015. Data is taken from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, for the cohort born in 1973-1978, linked with government data on Medicare subsidies and rebates. 41% of the participants reported some form of adversity in childhood, including 8% reporting physical abuse, 17% reporting psychological abuse, and 9% witnessing intimate partner violence. Overall, women who had experienced adversity in childhood had higher healthcare costs than their peers, with these costs increasing over time.
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.
Wellington, N.Z. : Ministry of Social Development, 2018.
Although poverty is associated with increased risk of negative outcomes, little is known about the magnitude of this association and the developmental pathways most at risk. Using data from the 'Growing Up in New Zealand' longitudinal study, this report investigates the extent to which material hardship - used here rather than low income - is associated with mother and infant outcomes. The study found that maternal mental health, child socio-emotional development indicators, and the number of child respiratory illnesses are all associated with material hardship. The findings reinforce the need to address poverty to prevent or mitigate its negative influences on children.
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.
International Journal of Behavioral Development v. 42 no. 2 Mar 2018: 214-224
This article investigates children's resilience in the face of maternal depression, which research has otherwise highlighted has a negative impact on children's development. It identifies maternal and family factors associated with children faring well from infancy to age 4, using data from the Maternal Health Study of Melbourne, Victoria, for 1,085 mothers experiencing depressive symptoms across the early childhood period. The findings indicate that a significant number of these children are resilient, and this was associated with maternal higher education and involvement in home learning activities.
Child and Family Social Work v. 23 no. 3 Aug 2018: 381-389
This article explores how clinicians in adult mental health services face engage with clients who are also parents. Interviews were held with 11 Australian clinicians regarding their experiences in working with parents, effective strategies, managing sensitive parenting conversations, making decisions about child safety, and working with child protection services.
Adelaide, SA : Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee, 2018.
The Child Death and Serious Injury Review Committee contributes to efforts to prevent death or serious injury to children in South Australia by reviewing the circumstances and causes of cases of death and serious injury and making recommendations to Government for changes to legislation, policies and procedures that may help prevent similar events. This is their thirteenth annual report, and presents their findings and recommendations from the reviews of all deaths of children who have died in South Australia, both during the 2017 calendar year and cumulatively since the Committee's work began. Sections include: rates and patterns of deaths, death rates by region, age and causes of death, deaths of non-resident children, child death and socioeconomic disadvantage, child deaths and the child protection system, child protection systems and unsafe sleeping, deaths of Aboriginal children, deaths of children with disability, infants mortality, deaths from illness or disease, deaths from external causes, deliberate acts by another causing death, review of nine events of child death and serious injury involving a parent with mental illness, deaths attributed to suicide, hot water scalding, and self-harm. Information is also provided on committee matters and methodology. Particular issues discussed include the ongoing association between higher numbers of child deaths and greater levels of socioeconomic disadvantage, the ongoing higher rate of Indigenous children dying from illness or disease, and the association between sudden unexpected deaths of infants, unsafe sleeping factors, and contact with the child protection system.