Attributions of mental health diagnoses and locus of control: the effect on families' supportive communication

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Research demonstrates that social support is a key element in close relationships, especially among families. In this study, the relationship between locus of control, attributions and social support among siblings as it relates to mental health diagnoses was explored. Using an experimental design, the relationship between variables such as perceived controllability of illness and effects they may have on sibling's willingness to offer different types of support was analyzed. Results indicated that there was not a significant relationship among willingness to offer different types of support and perceived controllability of the disorder. Thus, hypotheses 1-3 were not supported. However, results did indicate a connection between interpersonal solidarity and willingness to provide support. Additional tests showed that there is a significant difference between males and females for the level of social support that they would provide. Additionally, females were more likely to provide every type of support than were males. Limitations of the study's design are considered, and suggestions for extension of the study are presented.

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