STRESS REDUCTION THROUGH SKILLS TRAINING IN FAMILIES OF THE SEVERELY PSYCHIATRICALLY DISABLED: A REHABILITATION PSYCHOLOGY APPROACH (CHRONICALLY MENTALLY ILL).
AuthorMARSHALL, CATHERINE ANN.
KeywordsMentally ill -- Family relationships.
Schizophrenics -- Family relationships.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractFamilies are now often the primary caretakers of severely psychiatrically disabled relatives, also referred to as the chronically mentally ill (CMI). As a result, families report experiencing stressors such as a lack of psychosocial resources, disturbance in family routine, and increased financial problems--in addition to feelings of guilt and embarrassment. Research has indicated that the families need education, support, and training in coping skills. La Frontera Center, Inc. (LFC), a comprehensive community mental health agency in Tucson, Arizona, provided both education and support to families of the severely psychiatrically disabled. The education essentially involved providing families with knowledge regarding schizophrenia; support was available through a task-oriented self-help group. The purpose of the present research was to develop a complementary coping skills training program, and investigate its effectiveness. The research was conducted through two separate studies. The first study compared subjects who received the skills training, and education, with subjects who received education only. The second study utilized members from the LFC support/advocacy group who had previously attended the education class. One-half of these subjects received the skills training, while continuing involvement with the support group, and were compared to subjects who were involved with support only. In each study, subjects were randomly assigned to either the treatment or comparison group. Both designs involved repeated measures, with data analyzed according to an analysis of covariance statistical procedure. Though the hypotheses were not supported statistically in the first study, a number of results were statistically significant in the second study, and did support the hypotheses, including treatment subjects experiencing decreased anxiety, decreased depression, decreased conflict within the family, and increased social functioning and use of community resources.