Causal attributions about schizophrenia in families in China: Expressed emotion and patient relapse

Lawrence H. Yang, Michael R. Phillips, Deborah M. Licht, Jill M. Hooley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Previous studies have indicated a robust link between relatives' causal attributions and levels of expressed emotion (EE). However, these studies have primarily been conducted in Western cultures. The current study, conducted in China, examined the spontaneous causal attributions made by 54 relatives of schizophrenia patients during the Camberwell Family Interview. Chinese relatives made few controllable and personal attributions overall. Yet as predicted, highly critical and/or hostile EE relatives attributed patients' negative behaviors to more controllable and personal factors. High EE and controllable attributions positively predicted relapse, whereas personal attributions unexpectedly protected against relapse. EE mediated the effect of controllable, but not personal, attributions on relapse. Relatives' use of a particular Chinese characteristic (narrow-mindedness) was integral to the personal dimension's protective effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-602
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of abnormal psychology
Volume113
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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