Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Children Living With Addicted Family Members: Prevention Challenges in an Underprivileged Suburban Community
AbstractChildren living with substance abusers are more likely to experience negative outcomes. Our goal was to compare caregivers' reports on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and a socioeconomic and risk form of psychological aspects of children exposed to substance abuse assisted versus not assisted by a preventive intervention program in an underprivileged community. This observational intervention study was conducted with 66 caregivers of children who attended the program and 35 caregivers of children from the same community who did not attend. Ages ranged between six and 11 years old. Chi-square and logistic regression tests indicate that children exposed to substance abusers have more mental health problems than the general population and those who did not participate in the preventive intervention program presented worse outcomes, with higher rates of behavioral/emotional problems and exposure to risk situations. Results suggest that preventive actions might be helpful to promote the mental health of children at risk, validating the need for public policies and services.
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