Parenting among mothers with bipolar disorder: Strengths, challenges, and service needs

Meenakshi J. Venkataraman, Barry Ackerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bipolar disorder is a severe form of mental illness with a primary disruption in mood. With fluctuating phases of mania and depression, bipolar disorder can have a serious impact on all activities of daily living, including parenting. Ten mothers with bipolar disorder were interviewed to understand their strengths, challenges, and service needs in parenting. Results describe their love for their children, problems in disciplining, and need for more support groups, among other findings. Interestingly, manic and hypomanic phases are reported to provide more energy to parent. Implications of the study for social work practice and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-408
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Family Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Challenges
  • Mothers
  • Parenting
  • Psychosis
  • Qualitative study
  • Service needs
  • Strengths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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