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Fam Process. 1989 Jun;28(2):169-81.

Is expressed emotion an index of a transactional process? II. Patient's coping style.

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  • 1UCLA Department of Psychology 90024-1563.


This article examines the extent to which expressed emotion (EE) indexes not only relatives' behavior toward schizophrenic patients but also patients' behavior toward their relatives. The coping styles (CS) of schizophrenic patients were assessed during interactions with their parents and were compared with parental EE attitudes assessed during an acute hospitalization and during the aftercare period. It was found that parental EE attitudes measured during the inpatient period strongly predicted patients' outpatient transactional behavior: patients interacting with low-EE relatives showed significantly fewer critical and more autonomous statements than patients interacting with high-EE relatives. Further, the dominant patient coping style (autonomous, neutral, externalizing, or internalizing) was strongly related to the relatives' interactional affective style (AS) and to their pattern of EE attitudes. Patient coping style was not related to clinical attributes of these patients themselves. This article and its preceding companion (17) together suggest that EE indexes a transactional process so that the quality of both parents' and patients' transactional behaviors may predict subsequent patient functioning.

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