Successful recruitment strategies for prevention programs targeting children of parents with mental health challenges: an international study

Karin T M van Doesum, Joanne Riebschleger, Jessica Carroll, Christine Jeanette Grove, Camilla Lauritzen, Elaine Murdoch, Annemi Skerfving

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Research substantiates children of parents with mental disorders including substance abuse face increased risk for emotional and behavioral problems. Although evidence suggests that support programs for children enhance resiliency, recruiting children to these groups remains problematic. This
study identifies successful recruitment strategies for prevention programs for children of parental mental illness. The participants were recruited from an international network of researchers. Email invitations requested that researchers forward a web-based questionnaire to five colleagues with
recruitment experience. Forty-five individuals from nine countries practicing in mental health responded. Descriptive statistics and qualitative content analysis techniques were used. Results: Schools, adult, and youth mental health services were recruitment sources. Nine themes were identified: Relationships, diversified information output, logistics, program consistency, family involvement, recruitment through adults, stigma, recruiting locations, social media. Recruitment barriers were: stigma, inadequate knowledge about parental mental illness and limited time. Transportation to programming was an essential component of successful recruitment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-174
Number of pages19
JournalChild & Youth Services
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2016

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