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Title:Mental health outcomes, social functioning, and the perspectives of children from methamphetamine-involved families in the rural Midwest: challenges and strengths
Author(s):Sheridan, Kathryn M.
Director of Research:Haight, Wendy L.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Haight, Wendy L.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Korr, Wynne S.; Greene, Jennifer C.; Carter-Black, Janet
Department / Program:School of Social Work
Discipline:Social Work
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):mental health
social functioning
child welfare
substance affected families
Abstract:Social workers must confront a number of significant challenges as front-line workers in their efforts to provide appropriate prevention and intervention services to children from methamphetamine-involved, rural-dwelling families.Developing an understanding of children’s strengths as well as their limitations is necessary to the development of interventions that not only remediate deficits, but develop strengths. This cross-sectional, descriptive research describes the mental health, social functioning, and social context of 39 children aged 6 to 15 from methamphetamine-involved families receiving child protective services in rural Illinois. An examination of how social context may provide protection from risks to children’s mental health and social competence posed by parent substance misuse was explored. Two illustrative cases of children experiencing differing levels of risk and protection are also presented. Mental health was assessed utilizing the Child Behavior Checklist and Trauma Symptom Checklist for Children and results indicate half of the children in this study were experiencing internalizing symptoms and over half were experiencing externalizing problem behavior based on the CBCL. Slightly less than half of the children were experiencing problems associated with dissociation, post-traumatic stress, anger, and depression and over half of children had clinically significant scores on one or more of the five TSCC subscales. As a group, children scored in the normal range on the CBCL Competence scales. This finding suggests that children had some level of protection from the risks associated with substance-affected homes. Children reported that they received social support from a variety of sources including immediate and extended family members. Importantly, family history of intergenerational substance misuse and the presence of a supportive grandparent were shown to be significantly related to children’s mental health and adaptive functioning.
Issue Date:2011-05-25
Rights Information:Copyright 2011 Kathryn M. Sheridan
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-25
Date Deposited:2011-05

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