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Average and Bright Adults with Parents with Mild Cognitive Difficulties: The Huck Finn Syndrome 20 Years Later

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Background  This longitudinal study of 20 average and bright adults with parents with cognitive difficulties follows a study 20 years earlier of their childhood adaptation to their parents.

Method  Semistructured interviews about life situation and changes and perception of family‐of‐origin.

Results  The participants’ socioeconomic status changed from poverty to a bell curve from upper middle class to underclass, with working class the mode. There was a high incidence of psychological disorders, especially depression and drug disorders, but two‐fifths were currently diagnosis‐free and one‐fifth lifetime diagnosis‐free. Three‐fourths expressed a realistic view of their parents’ difficulties. Nearly half the parents have received social support from their adult children, both those without and those with cognitive difficulties.

Conclusion  Professionals should recognize the potential of children of parents with cognitive difficulties and their need for opportunity and family guidance on their behalf.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: National Coalition of Independent Scholars, Plymouth, NH, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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