Essay Sample on Negative Effects of Parental Depression on Dependent Children

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1920 Words
Date:  2022-12-21


Depression is one of the commonest disorders that affect people across the world. Challenges in life are attributed to the increased rate of depression and mostly among the married couples. There are many causes of depression and some of them are related to the social life that people have. Depression is a mood disorder that affects the brain and it is associated with loss of interest, sadness, and feeling of hopelessness. Most of the people with this disorder experience stress for a long time and it changes into depression when it gets to its extreme levels. Dependent children are those who rely on their parents for their daily upkeep and all needs. When parents are undergoing depression, there are high chances that this affects the attention they give to the children and it can affect their development. The situation is worse in a case where the parents are single, or those who have separated or divorced. In that case, the child has nobody to turn to and they may have to face all the impacts of their parent's depression. The communities in Te Tai Tokerau are composed of a diversified population just like in the rest of the New Zealand population. Te Tai Tokerau was created from the Maori electorate in the northern part of Maori in 1996 (Smith, 2018). A parent's depression can affect the life of their children.

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Justification of the Research Question

Justification for the Social Work Profession

The social work profession involves analyzing the issues that affect individuals, families, groups, and communities and how to solve them. The main aim is to support the well-being and social functioning of these people. The chosen topic is relevant to the work of social workers because it will provide information that will guide the way they do their work. For example, social work involves teaching people about social justice and services. The knowledge about depression and how to get assistance as a parent will be relevant to the social workers as they learn about the services necessary to help the depressed parents. Social workers are also concerned about the dignity of the individuals, and self-worth. The knowledge about depression and parenting will be useful because it will help to improve the self-worth of the parents and their children. The social workers can also use the information on depression and parenting to help in improving the dignity and competence of the parents and children in their daily operations.

Justification to the Te Tai Tokerau

The residents of Te Tai Tokerau and the rest of New Zealand depend on past research to make decisions related to their health. The topic is relevant in that it gives guidance on the way the depression in parents can affect the parenting practices and how the parents can avoid the impacts that their depression has on the children. Research done by Martel et al. (2019) identified that one in every four adults in the Te Tai Tokerau population suffers from mental disorders related to depression and anxiety. The findings are proof that there is a need to manage the rate at which parents suffer from depression. The topic is relevant in that it will help to increase the knowledge that people have about depression. It will also create awareness on the way the dependent children can be protected from the effects of depression that affects their parents. The local authorities, medical practitioners and other stakeholders who will use the information in this research will get adequate evidence that will be useful in protecting the current and the future generations. For example, counseling services could be introduced to counsel parents in an effort to ensure that they do not transfer their depression to their dependent children.

Justification for the Future Aspirations

For the people aspiring to pursue a career in the matters family and sociology, the topic is relevant because it will increase the knowledge they have about the career and it will also introduce them to the career. The research on the effects of depression gives an insight into the issues that a profession in this career will deal with. The guidance given in the research will be adequate to help such people to make decisions on the areas to major in and how to start their career. The future social work professionals will also benefit from the data analyzed about the population of Te Tai Tokerau because they will get estimates of the workload they will have.

Literature Review

How Parenting Practices are affected by Depression

Parenting skills are essential in facilitating the growth and development of children. The impacts matter with the age of the child and the relationship between the child and the parent. The parenting practices that are affected by depression include the attention required by toddlers, the responsive caregiving in infants and the monitoring efforts for adolescents. Such practices are meant to provide warmth in the children and to help them adapt to the right moral development. They also help to make the children feel safe and to control their emotions. If a parent is depressed and fails to provide parenting that meets these needs, the children can get affected and the effects are usually negative. In some cases, the depression of the parents can be transferred to the children and affect their early stages of growth. In cases where parents get a divorce, children are likely to get affected psychologically and they could develop depression at an early age (Harold & Leve, 2018). The age of the children is one of the factors that determine the impacts of the depression as indicated in the rest of the essay.

Impacts During the Prenatal Period

In most cases, it is assumed that parenting does not start during pregnancy. However, there are some activities and behaviors that a parent could engage in during the prenatal stage that could affect the life of the child. One of them is getting the right clinical care. A depressed mother may not follow up with the relevant clinics and this affects the growth and development of the child they have in their womb. They may also fail to observe the diet they are supposed to have and they may not avoid drugs like alcohol and cigarettes. Some of them use these drugs to reduce their stress and to get temporary relief. Depression is also associated with low energy and lack of pleasure in many things (Gentile, 2017). In such a condition, the mother may fail to get adequate rest and sleep and fail to follow the right dietary practices.

Impacts on Infancy, Toddlerhood and Early Childhood

The effects of depression can also be seen in toddlers and infants. Some of the common impacts of depression during these two stages are poor maternal responsiveness and sensitivity, poor verbal and visual interactions and intrusiveness. Children at this age require close association with their parents and mostly the visual interactions. They require to know about the environment around them and this requires consistent attention. Depressed women are most likely to get withdrawn and less sensitive to the behavior of their children and this could affect their growth. They are also likely to be authoritarian or disengaged in the way they interact with their children. In early childhood, depressed mothers may give inadequate attention to their children and this affects their psychological development to a large extent. The long-term dependable security and attitudes are developed at that age and depressed mothers may not offer the required support for this achievement (Infurna et al., 2016). During the early childhood and toddler stages, children require adequate attention because the stages are associated with numerous changes in their way of thinking, their behavior and the way they behave later in life. Parents play a major role in modeling the children to acquire the right moral background and to get the ethical standards required in society. Depressed parents may not have the necessary time to monitor and guide their children.

Impacts During Middle Childhood and Adolescence

The middle childhood stage usually involves separation from the parents and this is associated with many changes in the way the children develop. At this time, children spend more time with their peers and in school and they only get to spend time with their families when they do not have classes. However, they are dependent and their life is largely controlled and affected by the relationship they have with their parents. They also start to develop a sense of identity as they get to know the world around them. For instance, they get aware of their genders and the differences between genders. Research by Scott, Nelson & Dix (2018) shows that the interdependence that exists between the children and their parents affects the way the children behave later in life. Therefore, at this age, the depression and related disorders in parents can have a major impact on the children.

Adolescents are also associated with many developments and some of them are as a result of the changing emotions and other biological changes. The period is between late childhood and adulthood and most of the children are in their last years of dependence on their parents. The age is also associated with many changes in the way they think. Brain development is critical at this are and the depression of the parents can interfere with this development process. Children at this age also seek diversion, new identity, and have high emotions. The high plasticity of the brains at this age allows numerous effects of the environment. It means that children can be affected easily by the things that happen around them. It also means they are susceptible to harmful influences from their environment (Fuhrmann, Knoll & Blakemore, 2015). If one or both of the parents are depressed, they are likely to engage in negative activities like abusing drugs and harsh reactions to pretty issues. The possible outcomes are that the teenagers could get affected and they could lose their behavioral trends. They are also likely to follow the way their parents behave. For example, they may start using alcohol and cigarettes due to copying the behavior of their parents. If adolescents perceive the behavior of their parents as negative, they become stressed and may suffer from disorders related to stress.

Maternal Depression

The parenting roles are different for the mothers and the fathers. Maternal roles are more related to the way their children grow. Naturally, women spend more time with children as compared to men. Women who suffer from depression are more likely to have maltreatments towards their children than those who are not depressed. Similarly, women whose mothers were depressed are likely to become addicted to drugs and other social evils and eventually they share the same with the rest of the generations. Depressed mothers are usually harsh, they engage in negative parenting and have low levels of positive compliments. They are also less sensitive to the needs and changes in their children as compared to those who are not depressed. Positive parenting involves reasonable scaffolding, limit setting, contingency-based reinforcement of behaviors, warmth in relationships and sensitivity (Taraban et al., 2017). The depressed mothers are unlikely to practice such positive parenting. The negative parenting includes harsh encounters with the children, over-controlling their actions, use of abusive language, inconsistent behaviors and being over-reactive. The actions are common in depressed people and this means that depressed mothers are more likely to exercise negative parenting than those who are not depressed. The impacts of maternal depression can be assessed through the analysis of the relationship that exists betwe...

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