CAN I TELL JUST BY MYSELF? DISCUSSING A PARENTAL MENTAL DISORDER WITH A CHILD IN A RESEARCH INTERVIEW
In this single-case study, we focus on how to have a dialogue in a research interview with a child whose parent has been diagnosed with a mental disorder. The interactional context and the interviewer’s role in co-constructing the child’s accounts have been largely neglected in the qualitative psychological research on this subject. Stigma related to mental disorders is increasingly being recognized as a central issue for the entire mental health field. It is considered to have far-reaching effects on the social interaction of the stigmatized person and also to contaminate the interactions of those around that person. We examine how the stigma of a parental mental disorder arises and is negotiated in the dialogue between an 8-year-old girl and a female interviewer. The perspective of the study is micro-sociological and constructionist. Three categories of the child’s talk were identified: actively describing her position and voice in the ongoing dialogue, normalization of the parental problem and herself, and talking about shame and embarrassment.
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