Project ID NS-MH2024_09


Co Supervisor 1A Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience School of Mental Health & Psychological Sciences Department of PsychologyWebsite

Co Supervisor 1B Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience School of Academic Psychiatry Department of Addictions SciencesWebsite

The intergenerational impact of parental substance misuse on children mental health

Parental substance misuse is known to negatively affect children development throughout the lifespan ? beginning in utero with delays in physical, cognitive and socioemotional development; through primary school ages where educational attainment and socialisation for these children is lower and disruptive behaviour is higher; into adolescence where there are increased risks of mental health and substance use problems. In result, children affected by parental substance misuse are at an increased risk of being hospitalised for somatic illnesses and psychiatric disorders. Despite this well-established links, parentals substance misuse is rarely the unique problem. A range of factors in parents’ lives and relationships might increase their children’s problems. To date, limited information exists on children attending mental health services whose parents have substance misuse problems. Research in this area is needed, because only with the understanding of how social, psychological and clinical factors interplay in this context can theories and practices be developed to improve the outcomes for children with mental health disorders and their parents. The proposed project will use quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the relationship between child mental health disorders and parental substance misuse. It will use a unique network of linked databases including electronic health records of young people attending South London and Maudsley(SLaM) Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services(CAMHS), educational attainment data from the National Pupil Database(NPD) and socioeconomic data from Census 2011. Specifically, the objectives are to:
1.Understand the intergenerational effects of parental substance misuse on children’s mental health by identifying the psychological and social factors that interplay in this context
2.Identify how parental substance misuse might impact the care trajectory of children with mental health disorders
3.Explore parents’ involvement in their children’s treatment
4.Examine the educational attainment of children attending mental health services in the context of being impacted by parental substance misuse

Representative Publications

1. Canfield M, Brown A, Nelson A, Downs J, Gilchrist G, Norton S (2023). Documenting maternal and childcare information of mothers presented to substance use treatment services: a qualitative study of reports in a clinical case register. Substance Abuse and Treatment( / 2. Neo SHF, Norton S, Kavallari D, Canfield M. (2021). Effectiveness of integrated treatment programmes in reducing the loss of child care among mothers with substance use problems: A systematic review with meta-analysis. Journal of Child and Family Studies ( / 3. Canfield M, Norton S, Downs J, Gilchrist G. (2021). Parental status and characteristics of women in substance use treatment services: Analysis of electronic patient’s records. Substance Abuse and Treatment ( 1. Radcliffe, P., Chandler, A., Martin, F., & Whittaker, A. (2019). Parents and substance use. Editorial essay, special themed collection. International Journal of Drug Policy, 68, 97-100. / 2.Gadd, D., Henderson, J., Radcliffe, P., Stephens-Lewis, D., Johnson, A., & Gilchrist, G. (2019). The dynamics of domestic abuse and drug and alcohol dependency. British Journal of Criminology, 59(5), 1035-1053. / 3.Radcliffe, P. (2011). Motherhood, pregnancy and the negotiation of identity: the moral career of drug treatment. Social Science & Medicine, 72(6), 984-991.