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Children and Their Parents with Psychosis

Conference contribution
Authors Petra Boström
Jennifer Strand
Published in Nordic Attachment Network, Gothenburg, Sweden
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Subject categories Psychology

Abstract

Parental psychosis appears to interfere with parenting practices that may, in turn, affect the child’s mental health. The aim of the present study was to explore parent and child mental health, and of the parent – child relationship from the perspectives of children and their parents with psychosis. Seven children 8-15 years old, and their six parents with psychosis were interviewed individually. Data were analyzed by means of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Results showed that children appeared to have a limited understanding of the parent’s illness. While both parents and children showed attempts to preserve normality focusing on improvements, the internal turmoil of some children was expressed through incoherencies of speech and narrative structure. The parent-child relationship appeared to be non-hierarchical and vary in terms of attunement and distance, which in turn seemed to be associated with child wellbeing. The findings contribute unique multiperspectival insights into the relationship between young children and their parents by exploring their sometimes veiled accounts. The study highlights children’s needs for continuous support from other adults, and parents needs for support with caregiving and in finding ways to talk about their illness that reduces the child’s sense of responsibility.

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