People who suffer from bi-polar disorder or other types of depression experience a range of symptoms and reactions due to the disorder that causes not only themselves but their loved ones, to experience negative effects. In the relationship between parent and child, the parent’s mental status is altered, in effect taking a toll on their abilities to care for their children. The literature provides examples of how depression affects parenting abilities and in turn affects the development of children of those that suffer from a depressive disorder. The literature does not claim that parents who suffer from these disorders are unable to parent adequately, only that their skills are negatively influenced. In order to look further into this topic, research questionnaires were given to social work professionals who using their experience in family service settings shared information in regards to their professional experiences with the target population. The findings conclude that parents who suffer from depressive disorders are affected in their abilities to properly care for their children but are able to improve their skills when proper services are introduced. Implications for this research would encourage more comprehensive outreach programs to be formed in order to provide better assistance to those seeking help. Also more easily available services need to be formed in order to better meet the demand of need of this population.


Providence College


May 2007







A project based on independent investigation, submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Originally written for the Theory Practice Seminar, Providence College, 2007.

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