Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Impact of a handicapped child on mental health of parents.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 293 doi: (Published 29 November 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;293:1395
  1. S E Romans-Clarkson,
  2. J E Clarkson,
  3. I D Dittmer,
  4. R Flett,
  5. C Linsell,
  6. P E Mullen,
  7. B Mullin


    In a cross sectional study the mental health of parents of physically and mentally handicapped preschool children was compared with that of parents of healthy preschool children. The social networks of the parents with handicapped children were also studied to determine factors that might influence psychiatric morbidity. The mothers of the handicapped children showed significantly more psychiatric morbidity than the control mothers, but the fathers did not show the same deleterious effect on mental health.