Marred by Association: Coping with the Stigma of a Loved One's Mental Illness Open Access

Taylor, Jana Hutton (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/6969z1851?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
Marred by Association: Coping with the Stigma of a Loved One's Mental Illness

The works of individuals such as Erving Goffman and Peggy Thoits have unveiled the harsh reality of stigma and it's ability to affect not only the mentally ill, but those closest to the mentally ill as well. In an attempt to contribute to a topic lacking a solid collection of research, I explore the ways in which close family members manage and negotiate the stigma associated a loved one's mental illness. I conducted 10 in-depth interviews with students who have either a parent or a sibling with a mental illness. During these interviews, I addressed the challenges and experiences associated with having a mentally ill loved one, coping mechanisms utilized by individuals, and main motivations for employing a given coping mechanism. This paper presents major trends that serve to extend theories on coping mechanisms to a new population by focusing solely on family members. To conclude, I will discuss how this paper can direct future research.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Introduction...1
Theoretical Background...2
Empirical Background and Conceptual Refinement...10
Research Questions...20
Method...20
Results...26
Discussion...42
Bibliography...52
Appendices...56

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