Children living with someone who has mental health issues ar
The risk of children developing mental ill-health increases significantly when they have lived with someone who also has a common mental health disorder, research has found.

Researchers drew upon anonymized hospital admission and GP records which tracked 190,000 children living in Wales from birth up to age 15. It recorded mental health symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments, and analyzed mental health issues and developmental disorders such as learning disabilities or attention deficit.

The study showed children who had grown up living with someone with mental health difficulties were 63% more likely to experience any mental health issue, which includes but is not limited to anxiety, depression, anti-social behavior, and personality disorders.

The study also established links between household members who had mental ill-health and other conditions in children such as personality or eating disorders.

They found that mental ill-health among household members was related to a 42% increase in developmental disorders, which includes learning disabilities or attention-deficit disorders.

Alongside mental health, children who experienced victimization such as maltreatment or assault were 90% more likely to suffer childhood mental health issues and were 65% more likely to have developmental disorders, the study reveals.

The increased risk of child mental health diagnosis associated with victimization, or exposure to common mental health diagnoses, and alcohol problems in the household supports the need for policy measures and intervention strategies for children and their families.

BMC Medicine