Siblings of Persons with Serious Mental Illness: Resilience and Support

By Kimiko Tanaka.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A cross-national sample of 130 siblings of persons with serious mental illness (68 U.S. and 62 Japanese respondents) was analyzed to examine the role of social support in their mental illness-related negative experiences. In order to understand the phenomenon from a resilience perspective, Kohut’s (1984) self psychology was applied and social support was defined as selfobject. Findings suggested that social support defined by selfobject moderates the association between mental illness and negative experiences, but only the developmental aspect of the impact and only for U.S. siblings. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Keywords: Siblings, Serious Mental Illness, Negative Experiences, Resilience, Social Support

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 7, pp.167-178. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 663.720KB).

Dr. Kimiko Tanaka

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, School of Social Work, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, New York City, Pennsylvania, USA

My research interest is in individuals and their families coping with serious mental illness with a focus on resilience and support. As part of my dissertation, I conducted a cross-national study (U.S. and Japan) on life experiences of individuals whose sibling has a mental illness and investigated the role of social support vis-à-vis their resilience. My recent focus has been the clubhouse model of psychiatric rehabilitation. I am currently engaged in a clubhouse-related pilot study to document the resilience and strengths of people with mental illness. I wish to expand this research to an international level and to look at the positive impact of the clubhouse model on clubhouse members’ families.


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