Promoting mental health in early childhood programs serving families from low-income neighborhoods

Susan M. Breitenstein, Deborah Gross, Irmaleticia Ordaz, Wrenetha Julion, Christine Garvey, Alison Ridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Although the majority of young children growing up in low-income communities will not experience mental health problems, a proportion of children will develop problems that can be painful for families and costly to society. There is growing consensus that preventive interventions in the first 5 years of life are the most cost-effective strategy for reducing children's mental health problems. The purposes of this article are to (a) present the case for providing health promotion and preventive interventions to economically disadvantaged parents of young children as standard practice in early childhood programs and (b) describe the feasibility and utility of incorporating mental health promotion services in child care centers serving low-income families using the Chicago Parent Program (CPP) as an example. The CPP is an evidence-based intervention designed in collaboration with low-income, ethnic minority parents to promote positive parenting skills and reduce behavior problems in young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-320
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Early childhood programs
  • Ethnic minority
  • Parent training
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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