Social Problems of Parents Who Have Children with Schizophrenia in Japan

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 6:15 PM
Room: Booth 60
Oral Presentation
Hidemitsu AOKI , Ritsumeikan University, Japan
Background: In June 1995, The Mental Health and Welfare Act was enacted in Japan. This act makes families with mentally disabled children responsible for looking after their children, regardless of their children’s age. In addition, social services which care for people with mental disorders are absolutely lacking. Because of these harsh conditions and these situations, some families suffer great anguish. Tragically, these circumstances can drive parents into making the terrible decision to take their child’s life. Actually, in June 2008, a murder case happened in prefecture X. A mother killed her daughter with schizophrenia because of her despair over her daughter’s future. Since July, 2010, I have continued the research necessary to comprehend complex parents’ feelings with children affected by schizophrenia. Schizophrenia has a lot of inherent characteristics which afflict their parents. In addition, incomplete social system tends to force their family member, especially their parents, to bear the full burden. Most parents care for their children by some sense of duty more than the law.

Aims: The purpose of this study is to illustrate social problems of parents who have children with schizophrenia in Japan. Especially, how traditional family norm in Japan influence their parents be focused largely on in this study. Thus looking at family which meditates the interaction between Japanese society and individuals in great deal will offer the social norm as social problem.

Method: The life story approach is appropriate because it allows for the researcher to know how and what the social problem is personalized. Researcher myself has a side of suffering mental illness and having intense conflict with my parents. In the sincere dialogue between interviewer and interviewee, we can create a social reality and realize master narratives. The respondents in this survey are some parents who have adult children with schizophrenia.