The stigma experiences of parents of children with mental health problems

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Researchers at the University of Western Australia are seeking parents of children with mental health problems to take part in a study that will explore parents’ experiences.

“Our research so far has indicated that as a result of having a child with a mental health problem, some parents experience stigma.  That is, they sometimes experience negative feelings, comments, or behaviours from others.  We found that sadly, some parents thought negatively of themselves too”, says Kim Eaton from the University’s School of Psychology.

“In this, our national follow-up project, we are interested in further understanding parents’ experiences.  Parents invest so much care, love, and effort into supporting their children, often putting aside their own needs.  We are hoping that our study will shed some light on what parents go through, and ultimately help us to identify ways to best support parents in the future”.

Parents (biological, step, adoptive, or foster) who have children (less than 13 years old) with a mental health problem (such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, eating disorders, oppositional defiant disorder – ODD, and/or conduct disorder) are encouraged to complete a survey.  The survey will take about 20 minutes depending on reading speed.  All responses are entirely confidential.  There will be a prize draw to enter at the end of the survey.

Parents can access the survey at  Those parents who need further information, or would like to speak to the research team directly are encouraged to contact Kim by email

This study has been approved by the University of Western Australia’s Human Research Ethics Committee with approval number RA417857.

(Source: University of Western Australia)

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Date Created: August 5, 2016 Date Modified: August 8, 2016