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Parents of adult children with schizophrenia dealt with societal objections in order to provide the necessary care

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QUESTION: What is the subjective and emotional experience of parental caregiving in schizophrenia?


Grounded theory.


A private setting chosen by participants, usually their homes, in British Columbia, Canada.


29 parents (mean age 62 y) from 19 middle or working class families, many of whom were retired. Both parents in 10 families, mothers in 6 families, and fathers in 3 were interviewed. The parents had 6 daughters (mean age 30 y) and 14 sons (mean age 32 y). 2 offspring had died 5 years before the study. Parents had been caregiving for an average of 11.5 years.


1.5–2 hour indepth audiotaped interviews. All couples but 1 were interviewed separately. Interviews were transcribed verbatim. Theoretical saturation occurred after 32 interviews (total of 53 h).

Main findings

Parents of adult children with schizophrenia engaged in redefining their parental identity in order to adapt their …

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  • Source of funding: no external funding.

  • For correspondence: Dr P J Milliken, School of Nursing, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, jmillike{at}