18 SES 12 JS, Ill-being and Well-being: Digital pedagogies and teachers' coping skills
Joint Paper Session NW 08 and NW 18
Estimations suggest that over three million children, about one quarter of all schoolchildren, experience at least one parent with mental disorder in Germany every year (Mattejat, 2008). It is also assumed that there is a child in every second school class with a parent in outpatient care and in every third one with a parent in psychiatric inpatient care (Lenz & Brockmann, 2016). Children living with a parent having a mental disorder are at considerably higher risk of developing serious mental health problems themselves (Beardslee, Versage, & Gladstone, 1998; England & Sim, 2009). For example according to a forecast by the World Health Organization (WHO), depression in western countries will be the most common illness by the year 2030 (WHO, 2011). It is presumed that children of depressed parents have up to fourfold higher risk of developing depressive disorders than children in general population (Weissman et al., 2016). The psychosocial burdens depend on children’s experiences of a parental disorder e.g. the intensity of disorder phenomena. The different burden patterns and coping attempts often become manifest in children's school lives. While some children show a drop in academic achievements and withdraw from school activities, others may become aggressive or display other behavioural problems (Beardslee, Mattejat, & Lisofsky, 2009). This may have impact on school life and academic achievement, which could finally lead to a problematic educational biography and long term problems (Powell, 2009). However, if adequate individual, familial and community resources are available to accomplish developmental tasks, engage in relationships, and understand them and their family’s situation, children could cope well (Beardslee, 2002).
The result of a conducted scoping review (Arksey & O'Malley, 2005) in 2015 showed that the international scientific discussion provides only little information about teachers’ abilities of identifying and supporting schoolchildren affected by parental mental disorders (SAPMD).Aim of the review was also to get an overview about teachers’ role and responsibilities regarding affected children. In contrast to the above mentioned high importance of parental mental disorders only three studies could be found (Bibou-Nakou 2004, Reupert & Maybery 2007, Brockmann 2014) focusing on teachers and SAPMD. In conclusion, the results of these studies demonstrate that school has a major role for educational needs and social experience of children. It is highlighted that SAPMD experience more problems than children in general population and school (success) is mentioned as a further possible risk for affected children, e.g. school problems are additional to families’ problems. This means schools can have an important protective function, but can also create risk potentials. The teachers’ role in these studies is to identify children’s problems responds to family’s mental health issues and having a gatekeeper role to specialist services. However the founded studies show that identifying affected children is not easy for teachers and supporting SAPMD is up to the individual. When teachers identify SAPMD, they are usually concerned by the situation of the child and the consequences for that child and highly loaded by the child's school situation. So arguably teachers are stressed in this situation and SAPMD do not get adequate support.
Due to the little knowledge as a result of the scoping review semi-structured interviews with teachers were conducted. In order to gain more insight in school practise the aim was to explore how teachers identify and support affected schoolchildren against educational inequality and as an essential task of children’s mental health promotion. Another objective was to analyse teachers’ abilities/possibilities in everyday school life. This contribution shows results of the conducted interviews. These results are the basis for considerations of how teachers and affected children can be supported in everyday school life.
Arksey H, O'Malley L: Scoping studies: Towards a Methodological Framework. Int J Soc Res Methodol. 2005, 8: 19-32. Beardslee WR, Versage EM, Gladstone TRG. (1998). Children of affectively ill parents: a review of the Past 10 years. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 37(11):1134–1141. Beardslee, W.R., Mattejat, F., & Lisofsky, B. (2009). Hoffnung, Sinn und Kontinuität. Ein Programm für Familien depressiv erkrankter Eltern. Bonn: Dgvt-BALANCE. Bibou-Nakou, I. (2004). Helping Teachers to Help Children Living with a Mentally Ill Parent. Teachers’ Perceptions on Identification and Policy Issues. School Psychology International, 25(1), 42–58. Brockmann, E. (2014). Kinder psychisch erkrankter Eltern in der Schule Bedingungen und Konsequenzen der Enttabuisierung der elterlichen psychischen Erkrankung im schulischen Kontext auf die Beziehung zwischen Eltern, Schülern und Lehrern – eine qualitative Studie. Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek. Retrieved from http://d-nb.info/1069092843/34. Accessed 12 August 2015. England MJ, Sim LJ. (2009). Depression in Parents, Parenting, and Children: Opportunities to Improve Identification, Treatment, and Prevention. Washington, DC. National Academies Press. Jorm, A.F., Korten, A.E., Jacomb, P.A., Christensen, H., Rodgers, B., & Pollitt, P. (1997). ‘Mental health literacy’: a survey of the public's ability to recognise mental disorders and their beliefs about the effectiveness of treatment. Medical Journal of Australia, 166(4), 182-186. Lenz A., Brockmann E. (2016). Schüler mit psychisch kranken Eltern. Auswirkungen und Unterstützungsmöglichkeiten im schulischen Kontext. Goettingen, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Mattejat F. (2008). Kinder mit psychisch kranken Eltern. Was wir wissen und was zu tun ist. In: Mattejat F, Lisofsky B. (eds.). Nicht von schlechten Eltern. Kinder psychisch Kranker. Bonn: BALANCE buch + medien. Powell JJW. (2009). Von schulischer Exklusion zur Inklusion? Eine neoinstitutionalistische Analyse sonderpädagogischer Fördersysteme in Deutschland und den USA. In: Koch S, Schemann M. (Hrsg.): Neo-Institutionalismus in der Erziehungswissenschaft. Grundlegende Texte und empirische Studien. Wiesbaden. VS. 213-232. Reupert, A., Maybery, D. (2007). Strategies and Issues in Supporting Children Whose Parents Have a Mental Illness within the School System. School Psychology International, 28(2), 195-205. Weissman, M. M., Wickramaratne, P., Gameroff, M. J., Warner, V., Pilowsky, D., Kohad, R. G., Verdeli, H., Skipper, J., & Talati, A. (2016). Offspring of Depressed Parents: 30 Years Later. American Journal of Psychiatry, 173(10), 1024-1032. World Health Organization (2011). Global burden of mental disorders and the need for a comprehensive, coordinated response from health and social sectors at the country level. Retrieved from http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/EB130/B130_9-en.pdf. Accessed 17 May 2016.
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