Resilience in families in which a member has been diagnosed with schizophrenia

by Melanie Bishop

Institution: Stellenbosch University
Department: Psychology
Degree: MSc
Year: 2014
Keywords: Psychology; UCTD
Record ID: 1425935
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86338


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The primary aim of this study was to identify family resilience qualities that families use to adapt after a member has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Family resilience refers to the family’s ability to adjust and adapt after a crisis. A secondary aim of this study was to determine whether there are significant differences between groups with regard to biographical variables (i.e. relationship to the ill member, home language, racial groups, family structure, and annual household income) and potential resilience variables. The primary theory utilised in this study was proposed by McCubbin and McCubbin (1996a), namely the Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment and Adaptation, and the secondary theory utilised is the Family Resilience Framework described by Walsh (2012). Qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed in order to answer the research question. Data were collected from 51 participants, who represented 42 families. Families were recruited from three support groups within the Western Cape, South Africa. Qualitative data were obtained through an open-ended question in which the participant was asked to indicate the strengths and resources used by the family to adapt after a member had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Resilience qualities within the qualitative data were identified through a process of thematic theme analysis. Quantitative data were collected using seven self-report questionnaires, which collectively gave an indication of possible family resilience qualities within the family. Quantitative data were analysed using a mixed model repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), Pearson’s product-moment correlations, and a bestsubset regression analysis. Ten statistically significant correlations were found between independent variables and family adaptation. Nine of these variables had a significant positive correlation with family adaptation, namely family income; the degree to which the family finds support in their community; special events and family time; the style of communication during crises; positive communication patterns during crises; family hardiness; the ability of the family to work together and their internal strengths; positive reframing and ability to learn; and the internal locus of control within families. Only one negative correlation with family adaptation was found, namely incendiary communication during times of crisis. The quantitative results were compared with the qualitative themes, and additional findings from the qualitative data were reported. An additional theme that emerged from the qualitative analyses was factors relating to the diagnosed family member, and a subtheme, namely passive appraisal of a crisis. Differences were also found between groups with regard to the measured variables. It is evident from the findings that the identified qualities and resources may be used in interventions to strengthen other families in which a member has been diagnosed with…