8: Parental Factors
8.1.1 This chapter covers aspects of parental behaviour, psychological functioning and circumstances that put the child or the unborn child’s welfare at risk. The focus is to alert paediatricians to the risks to children and to clarify their role where risk is identified.
8.1.2 To safeguard and promote the welfare of children, parents must provide basic care, safety, emotional warmth, appropriate stimulation, guidance and boundaries and stability. Mental illness, learning disability, substance misuse and domestic abuse (DA) can affect parents’ capacity to address adequately these issues.
8.1.3 Parental problems can result in parents having difficulty organising their lives, controlling their emotions, and neglect their own and their children’s physical needs. Parental problems may lead to insensitive, unresponsive, angry and critical responses, leading to children with insecure attachments. The social impacts of parental problems can affect the family’s standard of living, lead to isolation, and disrupt family relationships.
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