The intersection of extreme poverty and familial mental health in the United States

Mary C. Acri, Lindsay A. Bornheimer, Lauren Jessell, Aminda Heckman Chomancuzuk, Joshua G. Adler, Geetha Gopalan, Mary M. McKay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Approximately 22% of children in the United States live in poverty, with high rates of caregiver depression and child disruptive behavior disorders (DBD). The current study aims to explore the relationships between living in extreme poverty and both child and parent mental health. Data are comprised of findings from the first effectiveness study of the 4Rs and 2Ss intervention, in addition to preliminary data from an implementation study currently underway (n = 484). Families with an annual income of less than $9,999 reported significantly greater child DBD scores and prevalence of clinically significant levels of caregiver depressive symptoms compared to income levels over $10,000. Findings support the recommendation for parental mental health to be attended to within the context of child mental health services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-688
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Work in Mental Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2017


  • 4Rs and 2Ss for strengthening families
  • caregiver depression
  • disruptive behavior disorders
  • extreme poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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