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Title: Parent mental health, optimism, intolerance of uncertainty, and perceived child symptom severity as predictors of parents' future-oriented thinking
Author: Harvey, Lucy
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 0450
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2016
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Objectives: Central to models of social recovery is the process of finding meaning in life whilst mental health symptoms remain. Critical to this is having hope and optimism for the future. To date, there has been little exploration of the application of recovery models to young people and their families. Research suggests parents of children with a mental health problem display uncertainty and pessimism about their child’s future. The current study assessed factors related to parents’ ability to think about the future and whether they conceptualised positive or negative events in their child’s future. This has potential importance in informing recovery-oriented practice for young people and their families. Method: Participants were recruited through parenting websites and social media. 95 parents/carers of young people aged 3-18 completed online measures of perceived child symptom severity, parents’ internalising problems, optimism and intolerance of uncertainty. Perceived child symptom severity ranged from non-clinical to clinical levels of severity. Participants listed experiences they anticipated for their child’s future and rated the likelihood of their child encountering a number of positive and negative life events. Results: Parents who perceived their child’s symptoms as more severe and those with higher intolerance of uncertainty and lower trait optimism rated future negative events as more likely, and future positive events as less likely. Parents of older children rated future negative events as more likely. Perceived child problem severity mediated the relationship between intolerance of uncertainty/optimism and negative/positive future thinking. Conclusions: Findings have implications for the application of recovery models to young people and families. To facilitate the recovery dimension of hope and optimism for the future, psychoeducation may enhance parents’ optimism and reduce uncertainty, helping parents better understand their child’s difficulties and their potential impact on the present and future. Key Practitioner Message • Parents’ optimism and intolerance of uncertainty should be incorporated and explored in assessment and formulation. • Intervention should aim to enhance parents’ optimism and reduce uncertainty. • Psychoeducation may inform parents’ expectations of treatment and short- and long-term outcomes.
Supervisor: Simonds, L. ; John, M. Sponsor: University of Surrey
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available