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Love, Loss, and Learning: The Experiences of Fathers Who Have Children Diagnosed With Schizophrenia.

The purpose of the present study was to give voice to fathers of young adult children diagnosed with schizophrenia within the past 10 years. A qualitative, phenomenological method was used to explore and describe the fathering experiences of the 6 volunteer participants.

language english
wordcount 9372 (cca 26 pages)
contextual quality N/A
language level N/A
price free
sources 40
Table of contents

Abstract (Summary) 2
Introduction 2
Method 10
Participants 10
Procedure 11
Results 12
Reflection on Roles and Responsibilities 13
A Sense of Devastation and Vulnerability 15
A Sense of Sadness and Loss 17
A Sense of Frustration with the Mental Health System 19
A Sense of Admiration for Their Child 21
Personal Growth and Learning 22
Discussion 24
Limitations and Implications for Future Research 30
References 30

Preview of the essay: Love, Loss, and Learning: The Experiences of Fathers Who Have Children Diagnosed With Schizophrenia.

The onset of schizophrenia in the family has been described as "a disaster in which all are victims of the event and its sequelae" (Terkelsen, 1987, p. 128). Early signs of the illness often occur during late adolescence or early adulthood when the child is often still living with his or her parents, especially for males. Females tend to have a later onset, often in their mid-20s (Hambrecht, Maurer, Hafner, & Sartorius, 1992). Schizophrenia is one of the most common of the major mental illnesses, with an overall 1% lifetime risk across cultures (Birchwood & Jackson, 2001; Jablensky, 1995). The illness can present with a range of positive symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions, bizarre behaviors, and marked disorders of thinking, as well as negative symptoms, such as social withdrawal, impairment of attention, lack of energy, poverty of speech, or a blunting of drive or emotions (Andreasen, Roy, & Flaum, 1995). ("Positive" symptoms refer to "new behaviors mat are clearly abnormal," and "negative" symptoms refer to symptoms that reflect ...

... differences in the experiences of fathers for whom a genetic predisposition for schizophrenia runs in the family. With only 1 father-daughter pair in this study, it may also be important to explore similarities and differences in the experiences of fathers parenting daughters versus sons with schizophrenia. Also, the fathers in this study were parenting within intact marriages. It would be useful to explore the experiences of both parents and better understand the impact of parenting a child with schizophrenia, on the couple and on the family unit. The experiences of sole support parents of children with schizophrenia also warrant further investigation. Finally, mental health professionals working with these families may be a valuable resource in helping to identify the support and counseling needs of these families and the training needs of those interested in working with this population.
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Humanistic Studies
General Psychology


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