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Poor Parental Impact: The Prevalence Of Mental Health Illness, Personality Disorders, Developmental And Learning Disabilities Among Children And Adolescents In Guyana

Guyanese children continue to top the region in the Caribbean Examination Council. They are resilient and hard-working in the face of adversity but struggle psychologically in their late teens and adulthood. Newborns must depend on parents to help them regulate physiology and behavior. Under optimal conditions, parents buffer young children from stress and serve as “co-regulators” of behavior and physiology. Over time, children raised by such parents gradually assume these regulatory capacities. They typically enter school well-regulated behaviorally, emotionally, and physiologically, thus being prepared to learn to read, write, and interact with peers along with the other developmental requirements. The high rate of mental health conditions among children and adolescents in the Caribbean region, including Guyana, is a growing concern. One major factor contributing to this issue is poor parenting. Parents are vital in shaping children’s mental health, and when they fail to provide adequate support, it can have long-lasting adverse effects. Firstly, poor parenting practices such as emotional, mental, and physical neglect and abuse lead to early struggles and later developmental delays, mental illness, and personality disorders such as anxiety, depression, conduct disorders, learning disabilities, and ADHD among self-grown children from unstable or unsafe environments. This becomes a repeated cycle and a stronger chokehold on the life of every successive community in Guyana to a greater degree. The social, medical, and economic cost of children suffering from poor parenting is insurmountable and needs to be addressed in Guyanese society’s medium and long term.