ERIC Number: ED163307
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar-31
Coping with Mental Illness in the Family.
Hatfield, Agnes B.
Utilizing the conceptual framework of coping theory, 30 family care-givers of mentally ill family members were interviewed to determine the relationship between coping effectiveness and such variables as patient characteristics, factors of the care-givers life situation, and the availability and adequacy of community supports. Care-givers were selected from an earlier questionnaire study of members of a family self-help group. Coping effectiveness was defined as the degree to which the care-giver exhibited emotional mastery, cognitive skill, and personal need fulfillment. It was found that the heaviest burden was felt in the early years of care-taking and on those who attempted to maintain the patient at home. The instrusion of such patients on family life, the constant painful reminder of the illness, and the frustration over lack of effective guidance from professionals were the most frequently stated complaints of care-givers. Families with very ill, chronic, long-term hospitalized patients showed the least sense of burden. They apparently adjusted to the conceptual framework of adaptation and coping appeared to be a promising approach for studying the complexities of such a problem as the one posed in this study. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Orthopsychiatric Association (55th, San Francisco, California, March 27-31, 1978)