Differences in problems faced by families with a child coping with a serious emotional disorder or an adult member coping with mental illness

David E. Pollio, Carol S North, Donna L. Reid, Karin M. Eyrich, Jennifer R. McClendon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Examination of similarities and differences in the issues families face can help determine whether models for families with a child coping with serious emotional disorder (SED/behavioral disorder (BD))warrant inclusion in, or adaptation of, interventions for families with an adult member coping with a mental disorder. Families attending psychoeducation workshops identified problems faced in managing their family member's illness. Composite lists of problems generated by 175 participants were categorized and sorted, using previously established methods for determining reliability and validity. Fourteen categories were identified for children and fifteen for adults, with ten overlapping. Family members attending the child-focused workshops more often listed mood symptoms and problem behaviors. Family members attending the adultfocused workshops more often listed family issues, denial and noncompliance, and positive symptoms of psychosis. Problems identified by families with a child coping with SED/BD may be sufficiently distinct from those of families with an adult coping with mental illness to warrant separate and distinct interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-98
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 28 2006



  • Children
  • Emotional disorder
  • Families
  • Mental illness
  • Services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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