Loss and change: The challenges of mothering an adult child with schizophrenia

Sandra E. Wiens, J. C. Daniluk


A qualitative narrative and cross-narrative research method was used to explore how six mothers of adult children with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder experienced personal growth and change. Twenty-four largely unstructured interviews were conducted over the course of two years. The following eight common themes emerged across the narratives: Enduring sadness and loss, Distress and struggle, Fluctuations in hope, Feelings of guilt and regret, Concern about their child’s future, Impact of their child’s mental illness on their other children, Commitment to helping/action, and Personal and relational change. The changes reported by these mothers were set against the backdrop of the nonfinite losses that characterized the realities and uncertainties of their lives since the onset of their child’s mental illness. Implications for mental health practice are addressed based on these findings.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijh.v3n1p26


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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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