Families provide support to adults with psychiatric disabilities throughout their lifespan. This project focuses on understanding family support and caregiver needs in families of Latinx adults with serious mental illness (SMI), which are psychiatric disabilities that require a substantial amount of family support. Latinx caregivers have worse health outcomes, including emotional and physical health, than non-Latinx White caregivers. Yet there is limited research on Latinx adults with SMI (referred to as people with psychiatric disability, or PWPD) and their families. Although family caregiving is not unique to Latinx, given the limited knowledge of the stressors, coping strategies, and sociocultural factors involved in caregiving by Latinx families, more knowledge is needed to inform programs and interventions that support these families and may benefit other underserved groups.

Latinx families of individuals with SMI often provide support to loved ones with limited resources, and without these families, the disparities in care that Latinx with SMI experience would increase and challenge the health care system. This study will expand on previous work on either only family caregivers or only PWPD and treatment outcomes. By examining the stress and coping process with different family members (primary caregivers, fathers, siblings) and PWPD, we will bring findings together to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of the illness on the family system.

Using the sociocultural stress and coping framework and a community participatory approach that includes input from Latinx family members and PWPD, the overarching goal of this mixed-methods study is to increase our understanding of factors contributing to the well-being of Latinx primary caregivers, fathers, and siblings providing support to loved ones with a psychiatric disability. We will also investigate community living and participation outcomes and contributing factors within the family context for PWPD.

Focusing on the family system and gaining an understanding of salient sociocultural factors that support and challenge families and PWPD can inform treatment interventions and priorities that improve family support efforts and ensure continued community living and participation of PWPD.

The contents of this research project were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90IFRE0060-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this research project do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.