Samuel Noh

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Current policy with respect to psychiatric patients is to minimize the amount of time they spend in institutions. This policy has resulted in large numbers of exhospitalized patients residing in the community. While it is widely acknowledged that living with a psychiatric patient is likely to be stressful, little research attention has been focussed on the extent of burden experienced by family members or on the consequences of living with a psychiatric patient for one's mental health. This study reports findings on the extent of burden experienced, and on the relationship between level of such burden and the mental health status of family members as measured by the General Health Questionnaire.;The data for this study were obtained in interviews with 211 adults who were spouses or parents of adult patients who had been hospitalized with diagnosis of functional psychoses. About half of these patients had been diagnosed as schizophrenic.;Evidence suggested that family members tended to experience a substantial degree of burden. The central analyses of this study applied multivariate regression analyses to assess the joint and independent associations of family burden and psychosocial and demographic variables with mental health status of family members. Family burden was not found to be as important as were mastery and social support for the mental health status. Moreover, a statistically significant relationship between family burden and mental health scores was observed only among subjects who lived with schizophrenic patients. Although the cross-sectional nature of these data precluded causal inferences, some possible implications of these findings with respect to intervention and community treatment programs were disscussed.



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