Emerging adults and developing awareness of siblings’ symptoms of schizophrenia

Document Type


Publication Date



Social Work

Publication Title

Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services


Emerging adults who are siblings to individuals with schizophrenia are an understudied though important population. This study examined perceptions of emerging adults to better understand developmental experiences and needs for supportive intervention. Using grounded theory, 23 emerging adults participated in open-ended, in-depth interviews. Results indicated themes related to emerging adults and their developing awareness of siblings’ experiences with schizophrenia. These included (a) the first break: changing roles and patterns, (b) influence of family and adjustment to a new reality, and (c) the effect on the emerging adult and their sense of self. Understanding experiences of this population can inform practice at key points such as during crises and transitions, which can help support a healthy developmental trajectory for siblings of individuals with schizophrenia.

Link to Published Version