Children’s perceptions of parental emotional neglect and psychopathology

Young, R. , Lennie, S. and Minnis, H. (2012) Children’s perceptions of parental emotional neglect and psychopathology. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 52(8), pp. 889-897. (doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02390.x)

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Publisher's URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02390.x/abstract

Abstract

<b>Background:</b> Parental emotional neglect is linked to psychiatric disorder. This study explores the associations between children’s perceptions of parental emotional neglect and future psychopathology. <b>Methods:</b> In a school-based longitudinal study of nearly 1700 children aged 11-15 we explored children’s perceptions of parenting, as measured by the parental bonding instrument (PBI) at age 11, and their associations with later psychiatric diagnosis at age 15, as measured by computerized psychiatric interview. Rather than using the traditional four category approach to the PBI, we identified groups of children, classified according to their perceptions of parenting, using latent class analysis. <b>Results:</b> A small group of children (3%) perceived their parents as almost always emotionally neglectful and controlling. This group had an increased odds of psychiatric disorder (OR 2.14; 95% CI 1.29-4.50), increased overall (standardised) psychiatric symptom scores (B = 0.46; 95% CI 0.16-0.75) and increased scores in all psychiatric subscales except substance-use at age 15, despite no increase in psychiatric referral at age 11. Analyses controlled for key potential confounders (e.g. socioeconomic status). <b>Conclusions:</b> Although our findings are limited by having no objective evidence that children’s perceptions of emotional neglect are directly associated with actual neglect, children’s perceptions of neglect and control are associated with over twice the odds of psychiatric disorder at age 15. Children’s perceptions that parents are emotionally neglectful and controlling are independently associated with later psychiatric disorder and should be taken seriously as a risk factor for future psychopathology.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Young, Mr Robert and Minnis, Professor Helen
Authors: Young, R., Lennie, S., and Minnis, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing
Journal Name:Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0021-9630
ISSN (Online):1469-7610
Published Online:25 March 2011
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 52(8):889-897
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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