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Coping in Parents of Schizophrenia Patients With Differing Degrees of Familial Exposure to Psychosis

St-Hilaire, Annie MSc; Hill, Christina L. MA; Docherty, Nancy M. PhD

Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease:
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318093f475
Original Article
Abstract

Over the past 50 years, parents have become more involved in the care of their schizophrenic sons and daughters. Although such responsibility can be gratifying, parents frequently report feeling burdened and distressed. These feelings may affect parents’ coping strategies in times of stress. This study examined the effects of family history of psychosis on coping styles in parents of patients. Coping strategies of parents with and without additional first-degree relatives suffering from psychosis (besides the index son or daughter) and controls were compared. As predicted, more family history of psychosis was negatively related to coping ability in parents. Findings suggest that greater familial exposure to psychosis may have an adverse effect on their ability to deal with life stressors. Results are discussed in light of the possible influence of genetic and environmental factors.

Author Information

Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio.

Supported by grant no. 1R15MH57151 from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a grant from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) awarded to N. Docherty as well as by a graduate student fellowship from the Fonds de recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ) awarded to A. St-Hilaire.

Send reprint requests to Annie St-Hilaire, MSc, Department of Psychology, Kent State University, P.O. Box 5190, Kent, OH 44242-0001. E-mail: asthilai@kent.edu.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.