Saúde mental de escolares: um estudo de prevalência e de fatores de risco e proteção
Cid, Maria Fernanda Barboza
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The literature points that the identification of problems related to infant mental health and the processes involved in its occurrence is important because it enables a better understanding of this population s reality regarding this special condition, as well as it supplies elements for reflections, planning and implementing public health policies, education, and social assistance which aim infant mental health promotion and can supply the presented demand in a more effective way. Additionally, studies have indicated that the risk factors present in the environment in which the child lives at, as well as the family s social-economical situation, family s structure, parents mental health, parenting styles, among others, are the most influential in the development of problems related to infant mental health. In this direction, the present study has as objective to assess the prevalence of mental health problems in students of the first cycle of the primary education, and the risk and protection factors represented by the variables social support of the responsible person, parenting practices and styles, mental health of the responsible person, and variables related to the family s structure and the context associated to them. There have been 321 participants who were responsible for children studying from the first to the fifth grade of elementary schools of the municipal network of the city of São Carlos. The measuring instruments were: Activities of Daily Living Questionnaire (ADLQ); Brazil Economic Classification criteria (CCEB); Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ); Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ); Parenting Styles Inventory (PSI) and Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI). The collected data was analyzed from the spreadsheets of each instrument and the descriptive, comparative and correlational statistical studies. The results found indicated a rate of infant mental health prevalence of 43%, and that 63% of the responsible people have at least one mental disorder assessed by the MINI. Regarding the potential risk factors identified in the present study, it has been observed that infant mental health has been significantly related to the variables: risk practices and styles, responsible person presenting at least one mental disorder, and the existence of fights within the family. Regarding the protection factors, the variable existence, in the family, of responsibilities and rules that all members acknowledge and comply has been associated to the pro-social behavior of the SDQ in the general sample. Besides that, in the family groups that experience two or three risk factors identified in this study, the satisfaction of the responsible person with the perceived social service has been identified as a potential factor of protection for the children s mental health. The results were discussed under the light of the factors theory and mechanisms of risk and protection of infant mental health. It is pointed out that the findings of this investigation contribute for a better understanding of the mental health situation of school-age children, as well as it signals factors of risk and protection, indicating important matters to be considered by the public policies of health, education, social assistance, and other ones which can deal in a more effective way with this reality.