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J Abnorm Psychol. 1991 Nov;100(4):546-54.

Attribution and expressed emotion in the relatives of patients with schizophrenia.

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  • 1Medical Research Council Social and Community Psychiatry Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom.

Erratum in

  • J Abnorm Psychol 1992 May;101(2):313.


Indexes of expressed emotion (EE) in 58 relatives of patients with schizophrenia were related to those relatives' spontaneously expressed causal beliefs about the illness and about related symptoms and behaviors. Relatives made attributions predominantly to factors external, universal, and uncontrollable from their own perspective, and to factors internal, universal, and uncontrollable from the patient's perspective. Low-EE relatives were similar in their attributions to emotionally overinvolved relatives. Compared with these two groups, critical and/or hostile relatives made more attributions to factors personal to and controllable by the patient. Subsequent analyses suggested that hostile relatives were further characterized by making more attributions to factors internal to the patient and by making attributions with fewer causal elements.

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