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Children adopting the views of their mentally ill parent

Children may believe that their mentally ill parent’s view is correct even though they recognise it as different from others’ beliefs. This is not a culture specific issue; however, in families which have more recently settled in a new country, it can be more prominent because of a child’s strong attachment to his or her family’s beliefs in the face of an unfamiliar environment. An example involved a single mother from a rural Philippines background who told her primary school-aged children that their school lunch would be poisoned as a form of spiritual retribution, so that they kept their lunch boxeshidden at all times: her children knew other children did not have such concerns, but thought nonetheless that their mother’s view was accurate.

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