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A systematic review of measures of mental health and emotional wellbeing in parents of children aged 0-5

Webb, R., Ayers, S. & Rosan, C. (2018). A systematic review of measures of mental health and emotional wellbeing in parents of children aged 0-5. Journal of Affective Disorders, 225, pp. 608-617. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.08.063


BACKGROUND: A significant proportion of women with young children experience mental health problems and recent research suggests fathers may also be affected. This may have a long term negative impact on the child's development with significant costs to society. Appropriate measures are therefore needed to identify parents and children at risk.

METHOD: This literature review aimed to identify the most reliable, evidence based global measures of mental health for parents of infants from pregnancy to 5 years postpartum (0-5 years). Literature searches were conducted on online databases and hand searches of reference lists were also carried out. Studies were included in the review if they reported information on measures of global psychological distress or wellbeing from 0 to 5 years postpartum.

RESULTS: A total of 183 studies were included in the review, 19 of which directly examined the psychometric validity of an outcome measure. These studies reported information on 23 outcome measures, 4 of which had been validated in parents of children from 1 to 5. These were: the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), the Symptom Checklist (SCL), the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ) and the Kessler scale (K10/6). Reliability and validity varied across studies.

LIMITATIONS: Only a small number of studies included fathers and examined psychometric validity across the entire period of early childhood.

CONCLUSIONS: The GHQ was the most frequently validated but results suggest poor reliability and validity. The SRQ and K10/6 were the most promising measures in terms of psychometric properties and clinical utility.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2018 Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Early years, Parental wellbeing, Measures, Psychometrics, Reliability, Validity
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Midwifery & Radiography
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Webb Ayers %26 Rosan 2018_text copy.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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