Family, problem child and mental health – a study in the light of sociological phenomenology


  • Ana Ruth Macêdo Monteiro
  • Maria Grasiela Teixeira Barroso


Family, Child, Mental health, Nursing, Parent-child relations.


The child can, in his/her school context, reproduce a family conflict situation and be typified as a problem child. From the experiences lived by the families of children typified as problem children by the school, I tried to understand those children’s family types, on the grounds of Sociological Phenomenology. Seventeen families were interviewed and at least two meetings were held with each of them. In the search for the meaning of the subjective action of the families, I perceived how they confront multiple social-economic problems and that, inside those conflicts, they try to offer to their members support to face the challenges, and they also find alternatives to deal with such reality with longings and aspirations.Working with families is a great challenge in Nursing, mainly when the focus is on the promotion of mental health, because it involves the care to the individual in the several stages of his vital cycle. I observed, in this study, that the problem child at school is part of a problem family and that all professionals, not only those at the school domain, but also health professionals need to intervene, reaching beyond the child and attempting to work with the family.





How to Cite

Monteiro, A. R. M., & Barroso, M. G. T. (2005). Family, problem child and mental health – a study in the light of sociological phenomenology. Rev Rene, 6(3). Retrieved from



Research Article

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