Expressed emotion and attributions in the relatives of bipolar patients: An analysis of problem-solving interactions

  • Wendel J
  • Miklowitz D
  • Richards J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Among the relatives of schizophrenic and depressed patients, high expressed emotion (EE) attitudes are associated with "controllability attributions" about the causes of patients' symptoms and problem behaviors. However, previous studies have judged EE attitudes and causal attributions from the same assessment measure, the Camberwell Family Interview (CFI; C. E. Vaughn and J. P. Leff, 1976). The authors examined causal attributions among relatives of 47 bipolar patients, as spontaneously expressed to patients in family problem-solving interactions during a postillness period. Relatives rated high EE during the patients' acute episode (based on the CFI) were more likely than relatives rated low EE to spontaneously attribute patients' symptoms and negative behaviors to personal and controllable factors during the postillness interactional assessment. Thus, the EE-attribution linkage extends to the relatives of bipolar patients evaluated during a family interaction task.

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Authors

  • Jennifer S. Wendel

  • David J. Miklowitz

  • Jeffrey A. Richards

  • Elizabeth L. George

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