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Parents of adult children with drug addiction dealing with shame and courtesy stigma
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2339-2647
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0653-0849
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Criminology (KR).
2023 (English)In: Drugs: education prevention and policy, ISSN 0968-7637, E-ISSN 1465-3370, Vol. 30, no 6, p. 563-572Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study aims to provide insight into the lives of parents to adult children with drug addiction. We focus on how the parents' social life and interactions were affected by feelings of guilt and shame, and how they dealt with the stigma that often accompanies drug addiction. 32 semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents (age 46-70) of adult children (age 18-47) with drug addiction in Sweden. Three themes emerged (1) Experiences of guilt, shame, and courtesy stigma, (2) Impact on social life and relationships and, (3) Strategies to reduce guilt and shame. Guilt, shame, and courtesy stigma complicated and restricted the parents' social interactions. Many parents applied a selective openness, carried experiences of alienation and in some cases isolated themselves. At the same time, several parents described that they were open about their child's addiction in certain contexts. For some parents, this meant a relief from guilt and shame and an opportunity for increased social interaction. Both informal and professional support for family members of individuals with drug addiction is vital to reduce experiences of guilt, shame, and courtesy stigma.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2023. Vol. 30, no 6, p. 563-572
Keywords [en]
Alienation, courtesy stigma, drug addiction, parents, selective openness, shame
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-54097DOI: 10.1080/09687637.2022.2099249ISI: 000827486300001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85134374643OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-54097DiVA, id: diva2:1685369
Available from: 2022-08-02 Created: 2022-08-02 Last updated: 2023-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Liahaugen Flensburg, OliviaRichert, TorkelVäfors Fritz, Marie

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Citation style
  • apa
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