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01-09-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 9/2015

Journal of Child and Family Studies 9/2015

A Qualitative Evaluation of an Intervention for Parents of Adolescents with Mental Disorders: The Parenting Challenging Adolescents Seminar

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 9/2015
Caroline Gilbo, Tess Knight, Andrew J. Lewis, John W. Toumbourou, Melanie D. Bertino


This qualitative study describes parents’ responses to a targeted and brief educational seminar (known as ‘Parenting Challenging Adolescents’), and provides recommendations for brief parenting interventions designed to engage adolescents in mental health treatment. The 2-h intervention was designed to assist parents who were concerned about their adolescents and in the identification of mental disorders. Participants were invited to attend the seminars conducted in a community setting on the basis of local advertising and promotion of the event with community health services and schools. Any parent of a young person aged 12–25 interested in the seminar material was eligible to attend. Sixteen parents completed measures of parent and youth mental health and family satisfaction and were also interviewed using semi-structured telephone interviews 4 weeks after the seminar. Interpretational phenomenological analysis of interviews suggested that most parents valued the chance to connect with others in similar situations and appreciated knowing about local services available for mental health disorders. Many parents also reported positive changes to communication and family dynamics following the seminar. Another common theme was an increased knowledge of mental disorders and appropriate treatments, along with the desire to receive more specific, targeted information. Overall the findings suggest that even a single session of educational material designed for parents may be useful, engaging and potentially encourage improved service usage for adolescents with mental disorders.

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