Exploring parents’ self-blame in relation to adolescents’ mental disorders


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This study examined whether parents of adolescents diagnosed with mental disorders self-blame for their child’s disorders; their reasons for self-blame; and the relationships between parental self-blame and lower psychological well-being, perceived stigmatization, social support, potential hereditary factors related to adolescents’ mental disorders, demographics, and youths’ clinical characteristics. Analysis of qualitative and quantitative interview data was used to classify 68 parents as “more” or “less” (40%) inclined to self-blame. The most common reasons for parental self-blame included perceived (a) bad parenting, (b) ineffective oversight of child’s mental health status, (c) passing on “bad genes,” and (d) negative family environment. Greater parental self-blame was related to parents’ lower psychological well-being and associated with potential hereditary transmission, family support, and adolescents’ clinical characteristics.

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