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The Association Between Hyperkinesis and Breakdown of Parenting in Clinic Populations

D M Foreman, D Foreman, E B Minty

Arch Dis Child 2005;90:245248. doi: 10.1136/adc.2003.039826 www.adc.bmjjournals.co

D M Foreman, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Skimped Hill Health Centre, Bracknell, UK - D Foreman, Department of Psychology, University of Southampton, UK - E B Minty, Department of Psychiatric Social Work, School of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, University of Manchester, UK.

Correspondence to: Dr D M Foreman, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, Skimped Hill Health Centre, Market Square, Bracknell RG12 lLH, UK; david_foreman@doctors.net.uk

Background: There is increasing recognition that child based, as well as parent based factors may be associated with children being excluded from their families. Despite the distress routinely observed among the parents of hyperactive children, there is little research on this in clinic populations.

Aims: To examine removals from home in a typical secondary care population, where hyperkinesis was accurately diagnosed.

Methods: A total of 201 cases were coded using mulitaxial ICD-10 criteria and Jarman indices derived from census data.

Results: Hyperkinetic children were more than three times more likely to have suffered removal from home than children with other psychiatric diagnoses, independent of any psychosocial measure.

Conclusion: Hyperkinesis is a specific risk factor for removal from home, which can operate in the absence of other psychosocial stressors. Screening children for hyperactivity is now simple, and the routine paediatric examination for children accommodated by the local authority gives an opportunity for early detection and treatment of hyperactivity in children at risk of family breakdown.

For the full copy of the research paper click here

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