Editorial: Improving children’s mental health. What does that mean, actually?
Albertine J. Oldehinkel
The importance of promoting child and adolescent mental health seems self‐evident. However, child and adolescent psychologists and psychiatrists are not necessarily in agreement with each other about what promoting mental health means, the desirability of intervening to influence development, and whether improving mental health promotion justifies reducing young people’s autonomy. If expressed and discussed openly, diverging views and opinions about these issues can be constructive and deepen insights. Philosophical discussions about the belief systems and their relation to theoretical models underlying specific research questions, methodological choices, and interpretations of findings raise awareness of the inherent subjectivity of mental health evidence and research, and stimulate ‘clear thinking’, arguably the most valuable implement in any scientist’s toolbox.
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Albertine J. (Tineke) Oldehinkel is Professor in Lifecourse Epidemiology of Common Mental Disorders, University Medical Center Groningen, and a joint editor of JCPP.