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Difficult Children
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Working paper

Difficult Children

A Serious Sign of Children at Risk

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The purpose of this paper is to put focus on families and children who have had contact to the social service department because of problems related children’s well-being, health or development. Problems that are recognized by the families themselves and by the authorities as problems that put the family in a poor position regarding the children’s well-being, health and development, but not so severe that the child is to be placed out of home.
The paper concentrates attention on differences between families with and without contact to the social service department for reasons related to the child. Especially on children and their development in social relations to children at the same age, on how the mothers experience their child and on the parent’s resources concerning health, education and job situation. The paper presents results from the first two data collections (1996 and 1999) in a prospective longitudinal study of more than five thousand children from a random sample of children born in 1995.
The results are that families with contact to the social service department have less emotional, economical and educational resources than families without contact. In addition the children have more conflicts in contact with their peers, more attention-related problems and less emotional or psychological resources. Furthermore the mothers experience more trouble in child rearing than what is found in an average family.
The results are important in the way that they attract attention to the child’s own situation and to the children’s problems. The preventive lesson is that the signs of conflict between children and their peers and children and their mothers may be sign not only of a “difficult child” but also of a child and a family where help is needed.
Forfattere Else Christensen
Udgivelsesdato 09.07.2003
Sprog Engelsk
Publikationsnr. AP 06:2003
Forskningsemne

Denne publikation hører under Børn, unge og familie, Udsatte grupper
emneord: Børn og unge, Udsatte børn og unge, Foranstaltninger for børn og unge, Social arv

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