Resilience among Siblings of Persons with Serious Mental Illness: A Cross-national Comparison

By Kimiko Tanaka.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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

A cross-national sample of 130 siblings of persons with serious mental illness (68 Americans and 62 Japanese) was analyzed to understand the siblings’ life experiences associated with mental illness from a resilience perspective. Specifically, multiple aspects of their life experiences, including negative experiences, positive experiences, and coping resources, were compared between the two countries through MANCOVA and descriptive procedures. The MANCOVA analysis suggested both similarities and differences in siblings’ experiences between the two nationality groups: American siblings are likely to have more coping resources than Japanese siblings yet both groups of siblings do not differ on negative or positive experiences. An item-by-item descriptive analysis into Resources, however, suggested that items contributing to the cross-national difference on Resources may reflect a Western bias, an argument consistent with general literature (Markus & Kitayama, 1991; O’Connor & Shimuzu, 2002; Triandis, 1995; Yeh, Arora, & Wu, 2006). The issues of cultural diversity and measurement as well as implications for mental health professionals were discussed.

Keywords: Siblings, Major Mental Illness, Resilience, Negative Experiences, Positive Experiences, Coping Resources, Cross-national Comparison

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 12, pp.61-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.291MB).

Dr. Kimiko Tanaka

Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown, PA, 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 an original 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, hoping to expand in future to international clubhouse research.

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