Table of Contents
International Journal of Family Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 801203, 8 pages
Research Article

The Burden of Caring for Children with Emotional or Conduct Disorders

1Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, 22-28 Princess Road West, Leicester LE1 6TP, UK
2Institute of Child Health, Peninsula Medical School, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter EX2 8UT, UK
3Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, De Cespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK
4Greenwood Institute of Child Health, Westcotes House, Westcotes Drive, Leicester LE3 0QU, UK

Received 9 December 2010; Revised 3 March 2011; Accepted 25 March 2011

Academic Editor: J. P. Sturmberg

Copyright © 2011 Howard Meltzer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. There is a paucity of evidence from epidemiological studies on the burden of children's emotional and conduct disorders on their parents. The main purpose of this study is to describe the problems experienced by parents of children with conduct and emotional disorders using data from a large national study on the mental health of children and young people in Great Britain. Materials and Methods. The Development and Well-Being Assessment and sections of the Child and Adolescent Burden Assessment were included in a nationally representative survey of the mental health of 10,438 children, aged 5–15, in Great Britain. Results and Discussion. Approximately half the parents of children with conduct disorder reported that they felt restricted in doing things socially with or without their children, embarrassed about their child's problems, and that these also made the relationship with their partner more strained. Conclusions. There is a growing need for research on the consequences of children mental disorders on families to increase the awareness of frontline workers on the burden to parents. Because parents feel embarrassed and stigmatized, they may hide their own feelings which may further exacerbate the situation.