Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Br J Psychiatry. 1999 Jan;174:31-8.

Family burden of schizophrenia and depressive illness. Specifying the effects of ethnicity, gender and social ecology.

Author information

  • 1Department of Anthropology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-7124, USA.



The burdens experienced by relatives of mentally ill persons are substantial.


To study the relationship between family burden and sociocultural context.


A comparative study of Euro-Americans and Latinos ascertained whether dimensions of family response are (a) non-specific to diagnostic groups; and/or (b) variable across cultural settings.


Regardless of diagnosis or ethnicity, patient misery was found most burdensome and distressing. However, considerable difference in shades of meaning and nuance across groups appears in relation to what is classed similarly as 'misery'. Only gender was significantly associated with social performance (males reported to have greater deficits). A complex cultural ecological effect was observed among the Latino-schizophrenia group.


Findings suggest similarities and differences in levels of family burden in relation to socio-cultural factors across cultural and diagnostic groups. The specificity of results by objective and subjective measures, types of burden, gender, ethnicity, diagnosis, and living situation confirm the importance of context and heterogeneity in understanding family burden and distress.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk