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Process for the Rights of the Mentally Ill to Have Children - Research Paper Example

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The Rights of the Mentally Ill to have Children Research Problem The area of interest for this research process is the rights of the mentally ill to have children. There has always been an outrage when the rights of those who have mental disabilities are denied…
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Research Process for the Rights of the Mentally Ill to Have Children
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Process for the Rights of the Mentally Ill to Have Children

Literature Review Nicholson et al. (1993) conducted a study to find out whether the state departments of mental health of sixteen states are giving enough healthcare rights to mentally ill women who have preschool aged children. They found that not many states had satisfying policies to provide outpatient services to mentally ill women, and there were no policies regarding the visitation of their children to them when they were hospitalized. This study shows that much improvement is needed in this area and insufficient healthcare is restricting the rights of the mentally ill to look after their children properly. Jacobsen and Miller (1998) conducted their research on mentally ill mothers to find out if they are capable of looking after their children properly. They found that many mentally ill parents are deprived the right of their children’s custody “due to child abuse or neglect”, due to which the children have to live in foster care. The researchers claim that since parents with long chronic mental illnesses cannot ensure safe parenting, hence they should be denied their parental rights. Feldman, Stiffman and Jung state in their study that children of mentally ill parents are likely to suffer from many behavioral disorders (1987). The researchers studied 306 children of ages between six and sixteen. They found that the children had disturbed relationships with their mentally ill parents because the parents could not provide them with secure family environment. This study supports the fact that mentally ill parents are not able to care for their children properly. Cohler et al. (1980) compared the two groups of participants, one of which consisted of mothers who were discharged from psychiatric hospitals and the other one consisted of normal mothers to find out “child rearing attitudes and adaptation to adult social roles”. They found that mentally ill mothers were unable to foster healthy relationships with their children and could not differentiate between their own and children’s needs. This hindered with the children’s abilities to adapt adult roles later in life. Gamer et al. (1977) had also reached the same conclusion earlier in 1977 when they conducted their research on three year old children performing an interaction task with their well and mentally ill mothers suffering from psychosis. They found that there were “differences in the pattern of intercorrelations among these interaction variables between the two groups” (Gamer et al., 1977). Bagedahl-Strindlund (1986) found that acute mental illness was positively related to pregnancy complications. They studied pregnant mothers admitted in psychiatric hospitals and found that delivery complications were also there in those patients who showed prepartum onset of mental illness. Mentally ill mothers also had a history of more abortions than well women. Mohit (1996) supported this research by finding in their research that seriously mentally ill mothers underwent frequent psychiatric hospitalization due to motherhood strain. This study helps prove that mentally ill mothers are not able to cope with motherhood roles efficiently. Stanton, Simpson and Wouldes (1999) found that mentally ill mothers are also involved in filicide. They interviewed mentally ill women who pretended to be very caring toward their children but at the same time regretted the killing of their children under unexplainable intentions. Research Question The research question formulated is that: Are the mentally ill able to bear and ... Read More
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