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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The coping process of a parent who has an adult child with schizophrenia Lana, Rose Teresa Dalla


This exploratory study investigated the coping process of parents who have adult sons or daughters with schizophrenia. The inquiry was framed by individual stress and coping theory with attention to family context. It investigated predictive relationships among illness characteristics, demographics, individual and family level resources, situational appraisals, and coping strategies. The sample was comprised of 109 mothers and 32 fathers recruited through notices in newspapers and the Schizophrenia newsletter, and through personal appeals to support groups. Questionnaires, along with stamped, self-addressed, return envelopes, were distributed personally or by mail. Either the mother or the father of a person with schizophrenia was considered eligible for participation. Measures used for assessment were those with established psychometric properties. A correlations matrix was examined to identify those variables that were significantly associated with the dependent variables of interest. The relationships among these relevant variables were further analyzed using a standard multiple regression procedure. The results showed support for the chosen theoretical perspective. A parents' coping process was shown to be multideterminant and interactive. Both illness characteristics and demographics were predictive of primary appraisals (perceptions of how the illness affected the parent's life ) and of coping strategies; individual and family resources predicted primary appraisals, secondary appraisals of controllability , and ways of coping; predictive relationships also existed among primary appraisals, secondary appraisals, and ways of coping. The importance of a direct influence of family members on the parental coping process was indicated.

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