Attributions of symptomatology

An exploration of family factors associated with expressed emotion

C. A. Harrison, M. R. Dadds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored family factors associated with Expressed Emotion (EE) in families with a member diagnosed with schizophrenia. Drawing on an attributional model of expressed emotion it was predicted that high EE relatives would have less knowledge of the illness and would attribute negative symptoms to the personality, rather than the illness, of the sufferer. Thirty-one caregivers of schizophrenic patients were interviewed. Results indicated that EE status was related to knowledge, coping and causal attributions of negative symptoms. Low EEs, as compared with High EEs, tended to have more knowledge of the illness and to cope better with the patient, and were less likely to attribute the cause of negative symptoms to the sufferer's personality. Support was therefore obtained for the utility of an attributional model in attempting to understand the determinants of levels of EE.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-416
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992


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