Being a mother - chances and challenges
ProChild is a consortium funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and investigates various aspects of being a mother. Mothers with a mental disorder often face particular challenges in raising and caring for their children. The project therefore focuses on mothers with mental disorders, especially borderline personality disorder, as well as their children.
"ProChild" aims to investigate how such mothers can be better supported. Since previous standard programs did not address the specific challenges and needs of mothers with a borderline personality disorder and the consequences for their children, an outpatient parenting training program "Borderline und Mutter Sein" (Buck-Horstkotte, Renneberg & Rosenbach, 2015) was developed with a focus on mothers with a borderline personality disorder. The group training includes 12 weekly sessions, targeted at enhancing and promoting the parenting skills of mothers with a borderline personality disorder. Topics include mindfulness and self-care, basic needs of children as well as stress and conflict management.
In the "ProChild" study, the effectiveness of this training will be evaluated regarding different aspects, e.g. whether the training can promote the parenting skills of mothers with borderline personality disorder, interrupt the cycle of violence, abuse and neglect and improve the mental health of their children. Therefore, we are interested in (disorder-specific) characteristics of the parenting behavior and mother-child relationship of mothers with various psychological disorders (borderline personality disorder, anxiety disorder or depression) as well as of mothers without any mental disorders.
In five subprojects, data will be collected at three study centers (Free University of Berlin, University of Bremen and Ruhr University of Bochum), before being combined and evaluated with the following different focuses:
- Subproject 1 (Freie Universität Berlin, Prof. Dr. Babette Renneberg): Evaluation of a training program to promote the educational competence of mothers with borderline personality disorder
- Subproject 2 (Ruhr-University Bochum, Prof. Dr. Silvia Schneider): Emotional regulation and mental health of children of mothers with borderline personality disorder
- Subproject 3 (University of Bremen, Prof. Dr. Nina Heinrichs): Investigation of family climate and relationship quality in mother-child dyads in the presence of a borderline personality disorder
- Subproject 4 (Ruhr-University Bochum, Prof. Dr. Robert Kumsta): Investigation of epigenetic changes associated with training to promote parenting skills in children of mothers with borderline personality disorder
- Subproject 5 (Free University of Berlin, Prof. Dr. Ulrike Urban-Stahl): Analysis of the cooperation processes between the help systems (child and youth services and health care) with regard to their handling of mothers and their children suffering from borderline personality disorder
Contact at the University of Bremen:
Study coordination: M.Sc. Anne Jung
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Nina Heinrichs