Journal Article

Schizophrenia: The Impact of Parental Illness on Children

Victoria Somers

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 37, issue 8, pages 1319-1334
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online August 2006 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Schizophrenia: The Impact of Parental Illness on Children

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This research sets out to discover what impact parental schizophrenia makes on a child’s life. It focuses on the daily life and experiences of children. Their health, education, family and leisure activities are examined. Contact with helping agencies and their unmet needs are investigated. The sample was drawn from the children of patients attending the mental health services in South West Dublin. They were matched with a control group of children of well parents. The majority of children who have one parent with schizophrenia had similar profiles to the children of well parents in the areas of physical health, positive family feelings, friendships, hobbies and household tasks. In a number of other areas, however, differences were found. Sample children had more psychiatric disturbance, more problems associated with school, less contact with relatives and spent more time at home. The children had little access to services and were upset by hospital visiting. The need for an educational programme and support for these children was demonstrated. It is recommended that a more co-ordinated approach is required by both adult and child mental health services in order to meet their needs.

Keywords: parental mental illness; effects on children; understanding mental illness

Journal Article.  6294 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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