Working with Christian Children and Families

Julie Mary Sadhu*, Joshua Williams, Mia Everett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Child and adolescent psychiatrists should aim to support the holistic wellness of the youth and families under their care. A comprehensive grasp of all biological, social, and psychological factors is an important component in that process. Within that framework, cultural issues, including race/ethnicity, language, and religious or spiritual beliefs may play a significant role in the emotional and behavioral health of individuals seeking psychiatric care. The spiritual and religious beliefs of children and their families often inform their worldview, values, relationships, and behavior. In this chapter, we delineate the Christian worldview as it relates to children, the family, and child development; provide a summary of relevant literature regarding the intersection of Christian faith and child psychiatry; highlight the impact of Christian faith on a child’s or family’s view of child psychiatry; describe the impact of denominational and cultural differences in the expression of Christian faith and family dynamics; present an approach to assessment and treatment planning for Christian youth and families; and provide clinical case examples and practical clinical pearls for the integration of Christian faith and psychiatric care. In summary, the mental health practitioner will serve Christian families and youth well by exhibiting an empathic, attentive, and unbiased stance; providing youth- and family-centered care; recognizing the potentially important role of faith in child development, clinical presentation, and response to treatment; encouraging the positive benefits of Christian faith on strength-building, recovery, and resilience; and facilitating effective integration of spiritual and religious beliefs and practices with traditional, evidence-based psychiatric treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChristianity and Psychiatry
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783030808549
ISBN (Print)9783030808532
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Christianity
  • Development
  • Psychiatry
  • Religion
  • Spirituality
  • Worldview

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Psychology


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