Published on in CHOP News
In the very first study of its kind, researchers in Sweden identified 494 children whose mothers were murdered by their fathers. They followed these children from 1973 to 2009 and evaluated them for mental health issues. They found that the experience was particularly devastating on children who were younger than 18 years at the time of their mothers’ murder. These children were six times more likely to be hospitalized for major mental health disorder and substance use disorder or for engaging in self-harm as compared to the control group. The study was published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
Katherine K. Dahlsgaard, PhD, Lead Psychologist of the Anxiety Behaviors Clinic at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, authored a guest blog post for the Philly.com Healthy Kids blog with a summary of the findings and the importance of screening, referrals and treatment.