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J Abnorm Psychol. 1993 Nov;102(4):601-6.

An attributional analysis of expressed emotion in Mexican-American families with schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles 90089-1061.


In this study we tested an attributional model of expressed emotion (EE) among Mexican-American families. A sample of 46 key family members of schizophrenic patients were measured on three dimensions: affect toward patient, controllability attributions, and level of EE. Consistent with an attributional model, we found that high EE families (defined on the basis of critical comments) viewed the illness and associated symptoms as residing within the patient's personal control, more so than did low EE families. We also found that attributions held by family members are related to their affective reactions. Specifically, family members who perceived the patient as having control over the symptoms of schizophrenia tended to express greater negative emotions such as anger and annoyance toward the patient than did family members who viewed the symptoms as beyond the patient's personal control. An examination of the types of affects found and their relationship to EE status is discussed, along with implications for this research.

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