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Brief Reports   |    
Differences Between Parents of Young Versus Adult Children Seeking to Participate in Family-to-Family Psychoeducation
Jason Schiffman, Ph.D.; Emily Kline, M.A.; Gloria Reeves, M.D.; Amanda Jones, Ph.D.; Deborah Medoff, Ph.D.; Alicia Lucksted, Ph.D.; Li Juan Fang, M.S.; Lisa B. Dixon, M.D., M.P.H.
Psychiatric Services 2014; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201300045
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Dr. Schiffman and Ms. Kline are with the Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (e-mail: schiffma@umbc.edu). Dr. Reeves, Dr. Medoff, Dr. Lucksted, and Ms. Fang are with the Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore. Dr. Jones is with the MANILA Consulting Group, Inc., McLean, Virginia. Dr. Dixon is with the Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, and with New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York City.

Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association


Objective  Parents of individuals with mental illness often play a central role in initiating and supporting their children’s treatment. This study compared psychological symptoms and experiences of parents of younger versus older consumers. Parents were seeking to participate in a family education program for relatives of individuals with mental illness.

Methods  Domains of caregiving and distress were assessed among parents of youths (N=56), of young adults (N=137), and of adults ≥30 (N=72) who were seeking to participate in the National Alliance on Mental Illness Family-to-Family program.

Results  Parents of youths endorsed greater burden, difficulties, and emotional distress than parents of young adults, who in turn endorsed greater burden, difficulties, and emotional distress than parents of older adults.

Conclusions  Findings suggest that burden, difficulties, and emotional distress among parents seeking participation in this program may be highest when children with mental health concerns are younger and that the burdens recede as children age.

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Table 1Characteristics of three parent groups seeking to participate in Family-to-Family
Table Footer Note

b Probability from 3 × 2 chi square or univariate analysis of variance. All p values, except those for the descriptive information, were adjusted for a false discovery rate.

Table Footer Note

c Effect size (small, .010; medium, .059; large, .138)

Table Footer Note

d,e,f Means that share a superscript did not significantly differ when a Bonferroni correction was used.

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g Range represents range of possible scores. Higher scores indicate worse outcomes (for example, more depression, stigma, or worry).

Table Footer Note

h Range represents range of possible scores. Higher scores indicate better outcomes (for example, more effective coping, empowerment, or problem solving).

Table Footer Note

i Effect size Cramer’s V (small =.10, medium=.30, large=.50)



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