Using a sample of 40 Anglo American family members of schizophrenic patients, the present study replicates and lends cross-cultural support for an attribution-affect model of expressed emotion (EE). Consistent with attribution theory, the authors found that highly critical relatives (high- EE) viewed the illness and associated symptoms as residing more within the patient's personal control as compared with less critical relatives (low- EE). A content analysis classified the types of behaviors and symptoms most frequently criticized by relatives. Symptoms reflecting behavioral deficits (e.g., poor hygiene) were found to be criticized more often than symptoms reflecting behavioral excesses (e.g., hallucinations). In line with an attribution-affect framework, relatives may be less tolerant of behavioral deficits because they are viewed as intentional, whereas behavioral excesses are easily recognized as core symptoms of mental illness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology