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Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2001 Fall;25(2):114-23.

Life circumstances of mothers with serious mental illnesses.

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  • 1The School of Social Work at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-1106, USA.


Individuals with a severe mental illness now have greater opportunities to pursue normal adult roles, including parenting. The research reported involved 379 women carrying out parenting responsibilities, recruited from the public mental health system in an urban area. The sample displayed great heterogeneity in educational levels, number of children, number of fathers for their children, and family living arrangements, except that most women were very poor. These women faced many significant stresses: living alone with their children, significant child behavior problems, and financial worries. Still, most of the women endorsed the significance of motherhood in their lives. Inattention by most mental health providers to parenting issues leaves many important needs unmet and is likely to have adverse consequences for these women and their children. Implications for psychosocial rehabilitation practice are discussed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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