The experience of fathers of adult children with schizophrenia

Patricia B. Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to describe the lived experience of fathers of adult children with schizophrenia by exploring the extent to which they engaged in caregiving. Cross-sectional data were gathered from 12 fathers over a 2-year period using naturalistic inquiry. Two instruments guided in-depth explorations of caregiving experiences, theme extrapolation, and theme refinement. Data were collected during taped interviews using the constant-comparative method. Findings indicated that the caregiving event was prolonged, three themes explained the extent to which these fathers engaged in caregiving: involvement in care, unresolved issues, and severity of the event. Recommendations include similar studies with ethnic groups and use of chronic sorrow as a framework for studies about parental care for adult children with severe mental illness. Practice implications include immediate assessment of fathers, supportive listening, and brief therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-413
Number of pages15
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health


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