Shame and guilt/self-blame as predictors of expressed emotion in family members of patients with schizophrenia

Stephanie Wasserman, Amy Weisman De Mamani, Giulia Suro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Expressed emotion (EE) is a measure of the family environment reflecting the amount of criticism and emotional over-involvement expressed by a key relative towards a family member with a disorder or impairment. Patients from high EE homes have a poorer illness prognosis than do patients from low EE homes. Despite EE's well-established predictive validity, questions remain regarding why some family members express high levels of EE attitudes while others do not. Based on indirect evidence from previous research, the current study tested whether shame and guilt/self-blame about having a relative with schizophrenia serve as predictors of EE. A sample of 72 family members of patients with schizophrenia completed the Five Minute Speech Sample to measure EE, along with questionnaires assessing self-directed emotions. In line with the hypotheses, higher levels of both shame and guilt/self-blame about having a relative with schizophrenia predicted high EE. Results of the current study elucidate the EE construct and have implications for working with families of patients with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-31
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume196
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 30 2012

Keywords

  • Criticism
  • Emotional over-involvement
  • Five Minute Speech Sample
  • Self directed emotions
  • Self-directed Emotions for Schizophrenia Scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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