“In Wales, 109 per 10,000 children are ‘looked after’ because their birth family are unable to care for them. Most will have experienced abuse or neglect in the birth family environment, placing them at greater risk for developing mental health problems that can endure into later life (Wales Centre for Public Policy, 2021).
Understanding the processes that might underpin a child’s mental health problems can provide avenues for intervention to offset risk trajectories before disorder may emerge (DeJong, 2010). Emotion recognition is fundamental to social relationships, and impairment in emotion recognition is a transdiagnostic risk factor for a range of psychiatric disorders(Burley et al., 2021). Children adopted from public care show impairments in emotion recognition that are linked to their mental health problems (Paine et al., 2021). With their likelihood of experiencing early life adversity and instability, looked after children represent a vulnerable group.”
In my research, I will explore (1) whether looked after children have difficulties in emotion recognition, (2) whether an emotion recognition training can improve any difficulties, and (3) whether any improvements maintain after six months.