This study was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH grant F32-MH08995), which was an Individual Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Award to Louis Medvene. Many thanks are due to Nicholas DeMichael and the other committee members of Hamden AMI who made this study possible. The authors would also like to thank Seymour Sarason and John Michela for their many thoughtful comments as well as Thomasina Borkman, Jacqueline Goodchilds, Marion Jacobs, Paul Toro, Shelley Taylor, and Bernard Weiner for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.
Causal Attributions and Parent-Child Relationships in a Self-Help Group for Families of the Mentally III1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 19, Issue 17, pages 1413–1430, December 1989
How to Cite
Medvene, L. J. and Krauss, D. H. (1989), Causal Attributions and Parent-Child Relationships in a Self-Help Group for Families of the Mentally III. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 19: 1413–1430. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1989.tb01456.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
A study of a local chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally 111 (NAMI) suggests that parents think about the causes of their offsprings' psychiatric disabilities in terms of psychogenic, organic and moral attributions. Comparisons of retrospective and current self-reports suggest that parents' attributional processes were influenced by their organizational participation. Comparatively stronger endorsement of the organic attribution (that biochemical illness is a primary causal factor) and comparatively weaker endorsement of the psychogenic attribution (that deficits in parenting are a primary causal factor) were associated with participation. Increased comfort in parent-child relationships was also associated with participation. It was speculated that these cognitive and behavioral changes were mediated by learning a comprehensive schema of information about schizophrenia that included information about causes, symptoms and methods of treatment.