Objective: This study is aimed to compare the rate of psychiatric diagnosis between children and adolescents with parental death and parental divorce. The study additionally investigates the differences in psychiatric diagnosis of children between pre and post parental divorce.
Method: The files of 4160 children and adolescents referred to child psychiatry outpatient clinic between September 2014 and September 2016 were examined retrospectively. Six hundred thirty eight children and adolescents with parental divorce or parental death were compared in terms of psychiatric disorders. The relationship between age, gender, living with mother or father, parental remarriage and psychopathology in children and adolescents was evaluated. Psychiatric diagnoses were compared in cases with parental divorce before and after the divorce.
Results: There were no significant differences between groups in terms of current psychiatric disorders. In both groups, disruptive behavior disorders were the most common diagnosis, followed by internalizing disorders such as depression and anxiety disorders. Younger age and living with the father were factors associated with psychiatric disorder in children.
Conclusion: Supportive approaches towards children with younger age and living with the father and their parents may be especially important in reducing the risk of developing psychiatric disorders
Key words: Parental death, parental divorce, psychopathology, children, adolescents