Parents with Serious Mental Illnesses May Face More Scrutiny from Child Protective Services

Researchers at the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Community Integration and Participation of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities looked at data from the PULSE Healthcare Survey, a large national survey of adults ages 18-65 conducted annually by Truven Health Analytics. The data for this study came from 42,761 respondents who answered questions about their mental health and parenting status. The respondents were classified as having SMI if they answered positively to three questions: whether they had been diagnosed at any point in their lives with either depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia; whether they had been hospitalized at least once due to this condition; and whether the condition had interfered with their participation in major life activities such as work, school, or social activities. The respondents were classified as being parents if they answered that they had children at any point in their lives, including grown children or children no longer in their custody.