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Title: Parenting and schizophrenia
Author: Ferriter, Michael Charles
Awarding Body: University of Wales, Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1997
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The first part of this study reviews the evidence for biological, vulnerability-stress and psycho-social models of Schizophrenia focusing on the latter, particularly on pathogenic parenting models. The reasons why, despite lack of evidence, pathogenic parenting models gained the popularity they did are explored, including mental disorder as a disorder of mind rather than body, the claims of non medical professions to treat mental disorder, issues of therapeutic optimism and pessimism and political and social factors, including the status and societal view of women in general, and mothers in particular. In the second part of the thesis the existing literature on the plight of the parents of people with Schizophrenia is reviewed. The author conducted in depth interviews with parents of thirty persons with Schizophrenia (patients in a forensic or a community setting) looking at three main areas: subjects' views on the aetiology of Schizophrenia, burden and stress, and encounters with mental health care professionals. The subjects discounted pathogenic parenting models. However, significant levels of feelings of "guilt" for causing the disorder were recorded. High levels of stress and burden were found. Levels of contact with professionals were low and professionals were poor at information giving. However, levels of blaming by professionals were lower than expected with almost as many instances of professionals counselling parents not to blame themselves. The seemingly paradoxical results of discounting pathogenic parenting models, low levels of professionals blaming and nearly equal levels of overtly non-blaming, yet high levels of guilt are best explained by Attribution Theory. The author concludes that this may also explain more recent, disappointing, findings on the impact of family psychoeducational programmes and argues that the lessons of Attribution Theory in other contexts should be taken into account when designing such interventions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available