In the current conceptualization of disability, the social context plays a fundamental role. Traditionally, the family has been seen as the principal source of support for persons with schizophrenia. It has also been seen as the most reliable support of psychosocial therapies for schizophrenia. Recent research in Chile on the role of the family in defining and managing disability among persons with schizophrenia suggests that in many cases it may play a dysfunctional role. Interviews with care giving families in Santiago, Chile show that the parents and siblings of persons with schizophrenia often manifest and enforce traditional prejudices and attitudes about this mental illness making it difficult for them to lead inclusive, independent lives. Inclusion in society for persons with mental illness and/or incapacity requires that they have well paying full-time employment, and that they have the opportunity to form their own family with a beloved partner. Information obtained from 100 guardians/caregivers of persons with schizophrenia in Santiago, Chile contradicts concepts of inclusion for persons with mental illness and incapacity.
Key words: Schizophrenia, inclusion, family, mental disorders.