Sporer and Monaghan ’19 Published in Journal of Family Issues

Professor Karyn Sporer and recent graduate Katarina Monaghan ’19, with Lisa Seropolous of Southern New Hampshire University, wrote an article “Finding the ‘Golden Moments’: Strategies of Perseverance Among Parents and Siblings of Persons With Severe Mental Illness and Violent Tendencies” which has been published in the Journal of Family Issues.

Abstract: This article examines strategies family members identify as being helpful when challenged by stressors related to living with an aggressive child or sibling with severe mental illness. Data from in-depth, ethnographic interviews with 42 parents and siblings of violent children with severe mental illness were analyzed using a modified version of grounded theory. Our analysis identified three themes that represent helpful strategies: (a) gaining insight and knowledge, (b) joining peer support programs, and (c) identifying a silver lining. Giving attention to these strategies may prove beneficial for other family members confronted and confused by mental illness, violent, and the complex mental health system. We recommend mental health practitioners help family members locate and engage with these resources and strategies to minimize family members’ sense of isolation and confusion, and to increase their knowledge of mental illness.

Download the PDF of this article.