Past research has linked expressed emotion (EE) to a range of mental disorders and poor outcomes, including relapse of schizophrenia and depression in clinical populations. The present study attempted to demonstrate exploratory relationships between EE and psychopathology in a clinical sample ( n = 61) of male and female adolescents placed in residential care. Additionally, this study included an examination of the potential impact that adolescent gender would have on the association between EE and psychopathology. While previous studies have documented differences between female and male adolescent rates of depression and other mood disorder-related issues, to date there has been little evidence regarding the impact gender may have on EE levels within the family system.
A self-report adjective checklist designed to measure EE levels provided measurement of the adolescents' perspective on their mothers' recent affective attitudes displayed toward them, as well as the adolescents' own affective attitudes toward their mothers. Adolescent psychopathology was assessed through the use of a self-report measure completed by the adolescent. Results indicated that higher levels of EE were significantly related to higher levels of Hostility, Psychoticism, and Somatization. There were no significant gender differences on indicators of either EE or psychopathology. Subsequent analyses, after combining sub-scales of the EE measure, revealed that higher levels of EE negative adjectives were significantly associated with higher levels of the Global Severity Index (a sub-scale indicating global psychopathology), Hostility, and Psychoticism sub-scales, while the positive EE adjectives were significantly associated with the Somatization sub-scale. Finally, utilizing a multivariate analysis, positive EE adjectives were significantly associated with the Somatization sub-scale. The practical implications of the present study are discussed, as well as suggestions for future research.
|School:||The Ohio State University|
|Department:||Human Development and Family Science|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Adolescent, Expressed emotion, Psychopathology, Residential|
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