An exploration of intergenerational narratives of resilience in families living with psychosis

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Kearney, Ian
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University College Cork
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Aim: The experience of psychosis can have devastating impacts on individuals as well as family members who are often integral to the caregiving process. There is a small but growing body of literature exploring the phenomenon of intergenerational resilience. However, little is known about this phenomenon in relation to families living with psychosis in Ireland. This study aimed to explore the development of intergenerational resilience through dyadic interviews with individuals with psychosis and a family member. Method: Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with a total of eight participants (4 service users with a diagnosis of psychosis & 4 parents). Participants were recruited through adult mental health services within Ireland. Data were analysed using a multiperspectival Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach. Results: The multiperspectival IPA yielded a temporal model of family life before, during, and after psychosis with nine overall subthemes generated. A sense of cohesion, optimism, and shared family values helped support families rally together in times of crises. Participants meaning making in the face of psychosis was supported through information and knowledge of the disorder. Separating the effects of psychosis from the person supported long-term commitment and perseverance for caregivers. Conclusion: Findings indicate the experience of psychosis can be traumatic for participants, yet despite this, salient accounts of family resilience were reported, and as such, this study contributes to the growing literature on intergenerational resilience. Professionals can play a vital role in strengthening existing resources within families following psychosis.
Intergenerational resilience , Psychosis , Traumatic , Multiperspectival IPA , Processes , Families
Kearney, I. 2022. An exploration of intergenerational narratives of resilience in families living with psychosis. DClinPsych Thesis, University College Cork.