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The Issues of Cohabitation Among Siblings when a Member Suffers from Schizophrenia

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 4 ]


Helene Davtian and Regine Scelles   Pages 366 - 373 ( 8 )


In the context of contemporary psychiatry, most patients live in their family’s home, which leads to cohabitation of brothers and sisters with the schizophrenic sibling. Having briefly alluded to the change in the role granted to the families of patients in psychiatric care, the present article reveals the intrapsychic and interpersonal issues involved in this cohabitation. Discussion turns around clinical practice with the brothers and sisters of schizophrenic patients and on research work (questionnaires filled in by 600 people who are brothers and sisters of schizophrenic patients and qualitative research covering the relations inside the group of siblings). The results lead to recommending, for preventive and curative ends, greater consideration for what the siblings experience within the families of origin that include a schizophrenic child. A merely educational and informative response is not adequate if it is not integrated within a more global approach to provide support for the relation.


Schizophrenia, siblings, psychiatry, reform of the health system, identity, differentiation.


Departement de Psychologie EA4430 Laboratoire A2P, Universite Paris X Nanterre, Nanterre, France, 9 bis avenue des Tilleuls 94140 Alfortville

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