Expressed Emotion and Patient-Relative Interaction in Families of Recent Onset Schizophrenics

Kurt Hahlweg, Michael J. Goldstein, Keith H. Nuechterlein, Ana B. Magaña, Jim Mintz, Jeri A. Doane, David J. Miklowitz, Karen S. Snyder

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130 Scopus citations


This article examines the interaction patterns of relatives of young, recent onset schizophrenic patients classified as displaying either high or low expressed emotion (EE) by two measures, the original Camberwell interview method and a recently developed brief method. The former was administered during the hospitalization period and the latter was administered approximately 2 months later when the patient was in the community. Family interactions were coded with an observational coding system that permitted sequential patterns to be analyzed as a function of the EE status of the family. No relation between the Camberwell EE rating and interactional behavior was found. However, high EE-critical relatives, defined by the brief EE method, were more negative in direct interactions than low EE relatives or high EE relatives classified as emotionally overinvolved. Sequential analyses indicated that high EE-critical relatives showed extreme negative escalation patterns. Patients' reactions to high EE-critical relatives were characterized by self-justification and negative nonverbal behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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