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Child Care Health Dev. 1992 Sep-Oct;18(5):249-57.

Expressed emotion in parents of non-referred children aged 6 to 11 years from two school populations: a pilot study.

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University of Birmingham, Queen Elizabeth Psychiatric Hospital, England.


This study investigates the role of parental expressed emotion (EE) in families of well-adjusted children. These were randomly selected from two school populations representing two different socio-economic backgrounds. Maternal criticism was strongly correlated with children's behaviour, although both the EE ratings and the scores of children's behaviour were within the established normal range. Mothers were more emotionally over-involved but also more positive towards their children in manual families. Fathers expressed more warmth towards boys. Clinical and methodological issues regarding the concept of EE are discussed.

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