Outline Two Sociocultural Explanations of Schizophrenia [4 Marks]

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Outline Two Socio-Cultural Explanations of Schizophrenia
[4 Marks]
One part of the socio-cultural explanation is the family explanation. It has been
noticed that the families of those with schizophrenia tend to be somewhat
emotionally fraught as well as being somewhat over-protective or over
involved in the life of the patient. This is known as high negative EE
(expressed emotion). Whether this is a causal factor or whether this is a
natural result of living with a family member with schizophrenia has yet to be
resolved. Either way, therapies aimed at reducing the emotional tension and
over involvement with the patient do seem to be very effective in reducing
relapse rates.
Another socio-cultural explanation concerns stressful life events, which
some believe can cause schizophrenia. Evidence for the stressful life events
explanation comes from Brown and Birley 1968, studied patients who had
recently experienced a schizophrenic episode. They found that 50% of them
had experienced at least one major life event in the preceding 3 weeks. Only
12% had experienced a stressful life event in the preceding 9 weeks. A healthy
control group did not experience very many stressful life events in the same
time period. This suggests that stressful life events can trigger an episode of


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