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Mental Health Care Use in Children of Parents with Mental Health Problems: Results of the BELLA Study

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Abstract

Whether parental mental health problems facilitate or hinder the use of mental health care of the parents´ children is still unclear. The present cross sectional study examined mental health care use and potential predictors in a population based sample. Children of parents with mental health problems (CPM) were nearly 5 times more likely to use mental health care compared to children of parents without mental health problems. A multiple regression analysis revealed that the most important predictors of mental health care use for CPM were active family life (OR = 2.67) and children´s own mental health problems (OR = 1.18 self-report, 1.17 parent-report). Additionally, parental strain showed a tendency to predict mental health care use (OR = 2.45). This study demonstrates that parental mental health problems are associated with mental health care use in their children and that improving certain family factors may support children´s mental health care use.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all children, adolescents and their parents who participated in the BELLA study for their contribution. Moreover, we would like to thank the Robert Koch Institute for their ongoing support and co-operation. Last but not least, we thank Ute Schues for thoroughly editing the manuscript and Lucia Leighton for the careful native-English edition of the text.

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Correspondence to A. Plass-Christl.

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Plass-Christl, A., Klasen, F., Otto, C. et al. Mental Health Care Use in Children of Parents with Mental Health Problems: Results of the BELLA Study. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 48, 983–992 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-017-0721-4

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