Schizophrenic patients' perceptions of their relatives' attitudes

Martha C. Tompson, Michael J. Goldstein, Malca B. Lebell, Lois I. Mintz, Stephen R. Marder, Jim Mintz

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83 Scopus citations


Although the attitudes of family members as revealed by measures of expressed emotion (EE) have been shown to be associated with the course of schizophrenic illness, little is known about how patients perceive these attitudes. A detailed interview was used to assess patients' perceptions of their family members' behaviors toward them. Family members' EE was assessed with the Five-Minute Speech Sample (FMSS). Overall, patients' perceptions of criticism were congruent with a component of the FMSS-EE that measures criticism. Results indicated that when family members had high EE/critical scores, patients perceived them as displaying more instances of critical behavior. All cases in which patients' perceptions of criticism were incongruent with measures of FMSS-EE occurred among ethnic minority group members. Although the FMSS-EE did not predict outcome in this study, patients who perceived their relatives as higher in criticism had more negative outcomes at 1 year. These findings suggest that when family environments are examined in patients from ethnic minority groups, the patient's perspective may be a more potent predictor of outcome than traditional measures of EE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-167
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 28 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Expressed emotion
  • Family environment
  • Prognosis
  • Psychotic exacerbation
  • Speech, content analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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