The family experience of mental illness: Evidence for resilience

Diane T. Marsh, Harriet P. Lefley, Debra Evans-Rhodes, Vanessa I. Ansell, Brenda M. Doerzbacher, Laura Labarbera, Joan E. Paluzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


A national survey was used to explore the potential for resilience among family members of people with mental illness. The sample included 131 family members: mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, and extended family members. Responding to open-ended questions, participants were asked to describe any family, personal, or consumer strengths that had developed as a result of the mental illness. Family resilience was reported by 87.8% of participants. Personal resilience was reported by 99.2%; and consumer resilience by 75.6%. Components of these composite scores were identified. Implications of these findings are discussed, and suggestions for professional practice are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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