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01-08-2009 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2009

Journal of Child and Family Studies 4/2009

The Age of Uncertainty: Parent Perspectives on the Transitions of Young People with Mental Health Difficulties to Adulthood

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 4/2009
Auteurs:
Pauline Jivanjee, Jean M. Kruzich, Lynwood J. Gordon

Abstract

For young people aged 16–24, the transition from adolescence to young adulthood involves predictable and unpredictable changes and they may encounter challenges in their roles, relationships, and responsibilities. Young people with mental health difficulties face additional challenges as they and their families navigate this transition. As a result, families commonly experience anxiety, uncertainty, frustration, and turbulent relationships. After learning to become advocates to secure appropriate services for their children, in late adolescence and young adulthood, parents are likely to find themselves excluded from their children’s treatment planning and services. This article reports findings from a recent qualitative study of the experiences and perceptions of 42 family members supporting their children with mental health difficulties during the transition years. Family members described their goals for their children, their frustrations trying to access appropriate services for their children, and their strategies to provide the support their children needed. Recommendations are for service providers to connect transition age youth with practical assistance and supportive mentoring relationships. Family members requested service providers to consider them as resources and potential collaborators in supporting young people with mental health difficulties to live successful lives in the community.

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