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J Abnorm Psychol. 1999 May;108(2):307-14.

Attributions and affective reactions of family members and course of schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles 90095-1563, USA.


The authors tested an attribution-affect model of schizophrenic relapse attending to the role of families' positive affect (warmth) and negative affect (criticism). Coders listened to interviews of 40 family members taken from C. E. Vaughn, K. S. Synder, S. Jones, W. B. Freeman, and I. R. Falloon (1984) and rated their attributions of controllability for the symptoms and behaviors of their relatives with schizophrenia. For family members not designated as emotionally overinvolved, perceptions that their ill relatives' symptoms and behaviors were under the patients' control were related to family members' warmth and criticism and to patients' clinical outcomes. Of the affective reactions, only criticism predicted outcome. In addition, patients' use of street drugs was related to attributions, criticism, and outcome. Together these findings suggest that families' attributions and criticism are important in understanding the relationship between family factors and course of illness.

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