Intended for healthcare professionals


Prevention of psychosocial problems in adolescence

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 31 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:460
  1. Sabina Dosani, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist (
  1. Michael Rutter Centre, Maudsley Hospital, London SE5 8AZ

    Psychosocial stimulation by parents has long term benefits

    Good parenting protects against psychosocial problems in adolescence. In this issue of the BMJ, Walker and colleagues present a controlled trial that adds to the growing body of evidence that interventions to stimulate children and expose them to more positive parenting reduce the risks of antisocial behaviour, truancy, pregnancy, substance misuse, delinquency, and emotional and behavioural disorders in adolescence.1

    Parenting plays a key part in children's emotional and behavioural development. Good parenting helps children adjust to change and adversity and establishes healthy patterns of emotional, social, and cognitive functioning. Harsh, unpredictable parenting that relies on manipulation, threats, punishment, and passivity is strongly associated with antisocial behaviour in children. Children with uncontrolled antisocial behaviour are at markedly increased risk of morbidity …

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