Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AbstractOver a third of individuals diagnosed with a psychotic disorder are also a parent. The symptoms of psychosis and side effects of antipsychotic medication can impact on parents’ awareness of the needs of their children and, at times, the parent may be emotionally and practically unavailable to their child. This study assessed the expressed emotion of parents with psychosis and used qualitative methods to investigate their needs and experience in order to identify how best to support this parent group. Twelve parents with a diagnosed psychotic disorder and with a child aged between 3 and 11 years took part in semi-structured interviews. The majority of parents displayed high levels of warmth and low levels of negativity towards their child. Four themes were generated using reflexive thematic analysis: (1) the impact of psychosis on parenting, (2) the need to protect their child, (3) the need to feel normal, and (4) the impact of parenting stress on psychosis. These results showed how parents want to protect their children and feel normal despite experiencing psychosis. They also highlighted the cyclical relationship between parenting stress and psychotic symptoms, whereby psychotic symptoms can impact on a parent’s capacity to care for their child and parenting stress can exacerbate psychotic symptoms.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Child and Family Studies


Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Date