Degree Date



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work and Social Research


This qualitative exploratory study seeks to address gaps in the literature about the development of emerging adult siblings of people with schizophrenia. This study uses four sets of literature as a framework for this study, including emerging adult identity development, sibling identity development (and other psychodynamic theories), studies on siblings of people with chronic illnesses and studies that specifically focus on siblings of people with schizophrenia. This study consisted of a pilot study of three and 23 intensive interviews which were then coded using NVivo and grounded theory techniques. Key findings for the study included exploring how issues of self-regulation can influence the formation of relationships and support that in turn, supports greater self-regulation. As well, understanding how a siblings’ role shifts in the family system can often correlate to a subjective sense of well-being. Implications for future research, especially around identity formation and family roles were also postulated.