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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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Knowledge and attitude of Egyptian parents toward childhood mental disorders

Ahmed Arafa / Marwa Magdi / Mayar Magdy / Hasnaa Elsharkawy / Lamiaa Saleh
Published Online: 2019-06-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2019-0044



Parents’ awareness of childhood mental disorders can help in early detection and management. This study aimed to assess the knowledge of parents about childhood mental disorders and their attitudes toward children with mental disorders.

Subjects and methods

Parents of children attending two public primary schools in Beni-Suef city in southern Egypt were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study during the first semester of the academic year 2017/2018. Knowledge and attitude of parents toward childhood mental disorders in addition to their socio-demographic characteristics were evaluated using a self-administered questionnaire.


A total of 468 parents (41.5% fathers and 58.5% mothers) participated in this study. Only 21.6% of parents had optimal knowledge of risk factors, 33.3% of manifestations/screening, 58.8% of types and 47.6% of treatment, while 42.7% of parents held a positive attitude toward impressions, 43.4% toward social distance, 63.7% toward spiritual treatment, and 59.4% toward chemotherapy and psychotherapy of childhood mental disorders. The multivariable-adjusted regression analyses showed that optimal knowledge associated with urban residence [odds ratio (OR) 1.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.05–2.30)] and knowing someone with a mental disorder (OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.08–2.41). The positive attitude was associated with urban residence (OR 1.80, 95% CI 1.18–2.74) and higher education (OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.32–3.48). Knowledge of parents correlated positively with their attitude toward childhood mental disorders (r = 0.258, p < 0.001).


A significant portion of parents in southern Egypt have suboptimal knowledge of childhood mental disorders and hold a negative attitude toward children with mental disorders. Future studies should focus on the possibility of including parents in screening for childhood mental disorders.

Keywords: attitude; childhood mental disorders; knowledge; parents


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About the article

Received: 2019-02-24

Accepted: 2019-03-15

Published Online: 2019-06-17

Conflict of interest: None.

Funding sources: None.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20190044, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2019-0044.

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