Psychological explanations of schizophrenia

Psychological Theories Psychodynamic Freud believed that schizophrenia was the result of 2 related processes: However this could be a consequence of the children's schizophrenia Cognitive Acknowledges the biological role in causing the initial sensory experiences of schizophrenia. Claims the further features of the disorder appear as the individuals attempts to understand those experiences When schizophrenics first experience worrying sensory experiences they turn to others to validate the reality of them.

Psychological explanations of schizophrenia

Psychological explanations of schizophrenia

Psychology The characteristics of Schizophrenia SZ can be categorised into two different types: Type 1 symptoms Positive Symptoms and Type 2 Negative symptoms. Type 1 characteristics include things such as delusions, hallucinations and paranoia. Patients may experience things such as hearing voices, which are often said to be from God or the Devil.

Type 2 symptoms however show more catatonic behaviour, for example a loss of drive, a lack of emotion or catatonic stupor.


We will write a custom essay sample on Psychological explanations of Schizophrenia or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not Waste HIRE WRITER On the other hand, there are some patients who experience both type 1 and type 2 symptoms, these are therefore categorised as Disorganised as they will have disorganised behaviour and speech.

It is said to occur within men when they are 25 or younger, however it occurs at an older age of for women. According to the different psychological explanations of SZ this is because of the high emotional tension and the many secrets and close alliances that are kept in the family.

One psychological explanation of SZ was put forward by Bateson et al who looked at childhood as a base for developing SZ, for example the interactions children have with their mothers. His explanation, the Double Bind theory, states that SZ Psychological explanations of schizophrenia occur due to conflicting messages given from parents to their children, for example when a parent expresses care but does so in a critical way.

This means that the child will become confused as the message they are given is conflicting, as one message effectively invalidates the other. As a result, the child is left with self doubt and eventual withdrawal. This theory therefore suggests that the home environment and the relationships a child has with their parents through messages plays a role in the development of SZ.

This is because there is no clear template of a loving relationship; instead the child is always unsure if they have done something wrong due to the conflicting messages they are given. A strength of this theory is the supporting evidence from Berger. He found that SZ patients reported a higher recall of double bind statements conflicting messages by their mothers than non SZ patients.

However this reliability of this study was criticised as patients recall may be affected by their SZ. There are said to be problems as it is called a retrospective recall, as the data is unreliable. Another criticism of the Double Bind theory is the inability to replicate the findings across studies.

This is because of individual differences, and the fact that as most of the memories were from childhood, you cannot go back in time to assess the validity of the recollections.

An additional criticism is the fact that the Hawthorne Effect may have occurred. As it was an observation of the families, there is no proof that the parents will act as they normally do around their families, therefore the validity of the results reduces as the results will not show a true picture of how they really are as a parent.

Also, the families are studied retrospectively, meaning they are studied long after the mental disorder may have affected the family system.

This means that various family routines will have been disrupted so you will be unable to see how the family acted before a child developed SZ. This is because living with someone with SZ is difficult and distressing for all the family as it has an impact on everyone, not just the patient of SZ.


A final criticism is that it is said to be an unconstructive theory as the theory blames the parents and families for a child developing SZ. By suggesting that a parent has caused SZ is at least unhelpful and at most highly destructive, as they not only have to cope with living with someone with SZ, but they are then told that it is their fault, which will lead them to feel guilty and hurt as they are blamed for a poor upbringing.

A second psychological explanation of SZ is Expressed Emotion. For example, Brown found that patients who returned to homes where there was a high level of expressed emotion, for example lots of hostility, criticism and over involvement, they showed a greater tendency to relapse in comparison to those who returned to homes where there was a lower level of expressed emotion.

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This was supported by Linszen who found this to be four times more likely. There is also support for this explanation from Vaughn and Leff who also found that the level of expressed emotion had an affect on relapse rates amongst discharged patients.

However they also studied the amount of face to face contact patients spent with relatives after discharge, and they found an increase in relapse rates as face to face contact increased, and even more so with higher levels of expressed emotion. This study suggests that the more time a SZ patient spends with a family with high levels of EE means that they are more likely to relapse.

On the other hand, this study has not been replicated therefore the validity of their results is questioned. There is a lot of supporting research for this explanation, for example from Kalafi and Torabi who studied expressed emotion within families in an Iranian Culture, where mothers are extremely over protective and submissive, and fathers are more rejecting as they are not able to comfort their child as it is seen as weak in their culture.

They found a higher prevalence of expressed emotion was one of the main causes of relapse, as there is a lot of negativity in the families which in the end leads to high levels of stress which they find it very difficult to cope with. This suggests that a mixture of emotion from parents in the Iranian culture plays a role in the SZ patient relapsing.

However this theory was criticised as it is not clear whether EE intervention was the key element of the therapy or whether aspects of the family intervention might have helped.Diagnosis and Classification of Schizophrenia.

Biological Explanations for Schizophrenia. Psychological Explanations for Schizophrenia. Biological Treatment: Drug Therapy. Psychological Therapies: Family Therapy, Token Economies and Cognitive behavior Therapy.

Author: Bruce Johnson. The characteristics of Schizophrenia (SZ) can be categorised into two different types: Type 1 symptoms (Positive Symptoms) and Type 2 (Negative symptoms). Type 1 characteristics include things such as delusions, hallucinations and paranoia. Patients may experience things such as hearing voices, which are often said to be from God or .

Jun 08,  · Discuss psychological explanations of schizophrenia (24 marks) A major sociocultural explanation of schizophrenia is the occurrence of stressful life events. Certain stressors, such as the loss of a close relative, may trigger the disorder because high levels of physiological arousal associated with the neurotransmitter changes are thought to be involved.

Psychological explanations of schizophrenia

Jan 03,  · There are two explanations which can be placed under the umbrella term of ‘psychological explanations’, the psychodynamic and cognitive approaches. The psychodynamic explanation Freud believed that schizophrenia is caused by issues in the sub-conscious mind of the schizophrenic.

Genetic predispositions may interact with the psychological explanations as faulty cognitions and negative family interactions may be linked to genetics. A multi-dimensional approach is needed to explain schizophrenia as clearly multiple factors interact to explain the disorder.

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Discuss Psychological Explanations of Schizophrenia - A-Level Psychology - Marked by