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Caregiving representations in woman with severe mental health problems. The pre- and postnatal development.
The project seeks to understand the process of becoming a parent when severe mental health problems are present in the mother. In the attachment literature “the caregiving system” has been described as the parental behavioral system that has the function of “providing protection, comfort, and care for a child”, and it is proposed as a mediating link between the mother´s own attachment status and infant attachment classification (George & Solomon, 2008). As little is known on how the caregiving system develops when the mother suffers from severe mental illness, this PhD will examine the caregiving representations pre- and postnatal in a sample of woman with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and moderate to severe depression and describe the psychological factors that affects their development around the birth of the infant. The hope is that this would facilitate development of effective preventive interventions that target the specific psychological factors that is connected with the caregiving system.
The project is a sub-project under the WARM Study (Wellbeing And Resilience: Mechanisms of transmission of health and risk in parents with complex mental health problems and their offspring) and is supervised by associate professor Susanne Harder, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Collaborators on the study are: University of Glasgow; University of Aberdeen; NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde; Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Odense, Research Unit,Mental Health Services in the Region of Southern Denmark; University of Southern Denmark; Psychiatric Research Unit, Psychiatry, Region Zealand; Institute of Clinical medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen.