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Am J Community Psychol. 1984 Oct;12(5):589-607.

Stress and social support: the burden experienced by the family of a mentally ill person.


The present research examined the burden experienced by the families of a mentally ill person and the relationship between this stress and social support. The participants were 56 parents of a schizophrenic person who were members of a self-help group for the families of psychiatric patients. Results indicated that low levels of burden were associated with small dense social networks, satisfaction with support received, satisfaction with the support from the self-help group, and spouse involvement with the patient. Qualitative data revealed that the stress encountered was chronic in nature, that the families lacked relevant information, and that the self-help group was beneficial. Implications for future research were discussed.

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