Psychological explanations of schizophrenia

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  • Created by: Natalie
  • Created on: 17-10-13 15:11
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  • Psychological explanations
    • Psychological theories
      • Psychodynamic view of schizophrenia - result of regression to pre-ego stage and attempts to re-establish ego control.
        • Very little evidence to support psychodynamic view of schizophrenia.
      • Some schizophrenic symptoms reflect infantile state, other symptoms are an attempt to re-establish control
      • Further features of disorder appear as individuals attempt to understand their experiences.
      • They may reject feedback from others and develop delusional beliefs.
      • Behaviour of parents assumed to be key influence in development of schizophrenia but may be consequence rather than cure.
      • Cognitive explanation supported by neurophysiological evidence (Meyer-lindenberg et al., 2002).
    • Socio-cultural factors
      • Prior to schizophrenic episode, patients report twice as many stressful life events.
        • Some evidence challenges link between life events and schizophrenia.
          • Evidence for link is only correlational not causal.
      • Double-bind theory - contradictory messages from parents prevent coherent construction of reality, leads to schizophrenic symptoms.
        • leads to stress beyond impaired coping mechanisms and so schizophrenic.
        • Supported by Berger (1965) - schizophrenics recalled more double-bind statements from mothers.
      • Expressed emotion - family communication style involving criticism, hostility and emotional over-involvement.
        • leads to stress beyond impaired coping mechanisms and so schizophrenic.
        • Has led to effective therapy for relatives.
      • labelling theory - symptoms of schizophrenia seen as deviant from rules ascribed to normal experience. Diagnostic label leads to self-fulfilling prophecy.
        • Scheff (1974) - 13 of 18 studies consistent with predictions of labelling theory.


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