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

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

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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.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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