About half of the offsprings had discontinued education, and majority of them were working. Similar to the findings of the study by Manjula and Raguram,[13
] 15% of them reported taking up responsibilities due to parental illness.
A large percentage (80%) of offsprings were functioning well, which was the very reason that they were able to bring their parents. The fact that majority of the parents had supportive relationship among themselves once again bring attention to the fact that family support exists for patients with schizophrenia.[26
] Keeping the fact that majority of them were female patients, it can be understood that the husbands were supportive of the wives. In those parents who were separated, again mothers had the illness, in such cases offsprings reported fathers being irresponsible or not being supportive. The findings reflect on the fact that cordial relationships between the parents seem to reflect itself in their relationship with the offsprings. Illness often contributed to the conflict between parents. Those who reported dissatisfaction, felt that, in their childhood, they were rejected by parents, and also that they did not have any support system, emphasizing the role of supportive relationships in dealing with the impact of parental mental illness.[15
About 78% of the sample had cordial relationship with sibling and reported satisfaction with the functioning of family (71%). These findings give an overall picture of satisfactory relationships, which would have potentially contributed to the resilience.
Similarly, the offsprings perceived satisfaction in parenting received. Among those who were satisfied with the care, some of them (18%) were taken care of by grandmothers. The findings shed light on the importance of the extended supportive family relationships as seen in other studies.[27
The negative experiences of growing up with a mentally ill parent was related to social aspects of life (49%) such as going out with parents or guests visiting them and not being able to bring friends to their house. Some of them had broken their relationship with neighbours and relatives due to the interference of illness such as being suspicious and getting angry. Stigma became the important part of the experience of growing up with a parent with mental illness. The stigma was experienced in the form of embarrassment in the public places, others making fun of them, and fear that others would think of them as having mental illness. Concealment was mostly used to avoid stigma. These findings are supported by other studies which show that feelings of stigma are known to be widely prevalent among family members living with a person having mental illness.[13
The vivid memories of the childhood in relation to the parents frequently included memories of aggressive behaviors shown by the parent, experiences of stigma, difficulty in the studies, and often feeling sad because of all these reasons. The findings shed light on intensity of the emotional difficulties these offsprings had to go through. Study by Foster et al
] also reports similar experiences.
Difficulties experienced with respect to emotional aspects included fearfulness about the symptoms of the parent, loneliness, and lack of sense of peace and happiness. Because of the above reasons, naturally they felt lack of emotional support and in addition they did not get guidance in studies.
However, the reason for few (2%) reporting positive experiences such as becoming more independent was that they could handle things alone, developed positive relationships in the process of taking and giving help. They felt that these experiences made them more selfless.
Among factors that helped them deal with difficulties, support of the family members, friends, and relatives was the important one (49%) apart from positive distraction, reappraisal, religious coping, approaching, and avoidance. The findings again emphasize the importance of the availability of support system, which seems to play a significant role in the life of offsprings.
In the sample, more than half of the offsprings were found to be medium on resilience, and very less percent were low on resilience. This is substantiated by studies that show that significant number of children of people with mental illness show resilience.[16
] The characteristics of those with medium to high resilience [Tables and ] brings notice to the several factors that contributes to resilience, among which the familial characteristics marked by presence of warmth, cohesion, structure, emotional support, and positive styles of attachment seems to contribute largely as protective factor.[22
] However, the findings seem to emphasize the role of “cumulative protective factors,” which is a combination of individual coping strategies, good families, and social factors.[38
With respect to satisfaction from the parenting received, majority of those with medium and high resilience was satisfied with the parenting received . This may be because of the better understanding about the parent's illness and that they were able to perceive things in a positive manner. This emphasizes the role of positive reappraisal, which is found to be one of the contributing factors in the resilient individuals. Resilient individuals are said to draw on positive emotion eliciting coping strategies such as benefit finding and positive reappraisal.[39
] The fact that people with medium and high resilience used social support to deal with their difficulties  indicate two things: 1) importance of social support and 2) that these individuals have the ability to negotiate for the resources and use them in meaningful ways.[40
Some of the limitations of the study includes, sample being predominantly male offsprings, which puts a limitation on understanding the experiences of female offsprings (daughters), especially in the context of the gender roles and responsibilities in the cultural context. Effects of certain socio-demographic variables such as education and gender on resilience were not found since the current sample consisted predominantly of males and those educated up to less than 10th standard was not included into the study. The sample was not formally assessed for any psychopathology, which may also have confounding impact on the resilience and the reporting of the experiences. The sampling technique used was purposive and, hence, the results cannot be generalised. The sample comprised mainly of those individuals who accompanied parents, which shows that these individuals are functioning well. Hence, the sample may not be a representative of the offsprings of the parents with mental illness; however, as the study focused on resilience, the sample facilitated exploration of factors contributing to resilience.
The study has drawn attention to an area that has not been studied in our cultural context. The study has shown the experiences of offspring of parents with schizophrenia and its relation to resilience. The findings indicate that there is an urgent need for early interventions based on resilience and are aimed at primary prevention. Programs addressing coping, enhancing social support, dealing with a parent having mentally illness, and healthy adjustment and achievement in life could be of help. Also, there is an urgent need to address the parenting skills of parents with mental illness.