Gender differences among relatives of children and adolescents in mental health services

Camila Junqueira Muylaert Patricia Santos de Souza Delfini Alberto Olavo Advincula Reis About the authors

The concept of gender points to social inequalities among men and women. This paper aims to describe and discuss, through gender identity theories, the role of relatives in the responsibility of providing physical, emotional care and financial support of Psychosocial Heath Centers for children and adolescents (CAPSi). Descriptive cross sectional study conducted in 19 CAPSi's in the State of São Paulo, Brazil, in 2009. Data were collected from a sample of 921 patients' records and submitted to descriptive statistical analysis. Mothers are the main responsible for the care in 56.9%(N=517) of cases, followed by grandparents, 7.8%(N=71) and fathers, 2.5%(N=23). Fathers are the main responsible for financial support in 20.3%(N=185) of cases, followed by mothers 8.9%(N=81). Great part of information about this subject was not found on patients' records (49.2%). It was found that women are the main responsible by children care even when they are responsible for financial support. Data collected revealed the great importance of mother and women in care of children and adolescents in CAPSi and the hegemony of female gender as having the role of care. Gender bias is present in mental health field, and considering its importance, may be considered in the care of the population.

mental health; gender identity; child care; family; adolescent

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