Discuss Psychological Explanations of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder as it often involves a loss of contact with reality and a lack of self insight. Schizophrenia has a large number of clinical characteristics. Some of these are Thought control, delusions of passivity, control and influence, and hallucinatory voices. Other symptoms may include catatonic behaviour, incoherent speech and general negativity about the self. Research states, according to family theories, that schizophrenia is a consequence of maladaptive behaviour and poor communication within the family.

Bateson suggested the “double-bind” hypothesis, where children are given conflicting messages from parents who express care, yet at the same time appear critical, which was thought to lead to confusion, self-doubt and withdrawal. Litz et al (1965) also coined the term “marital schism”, to explain an abnormal family pattern where conflict between parents was associated with schizophrenia in offspring.

However, these theories were based on methodologically flawed studies. One major problem was that families were studied retrospectively, long after the persons mental disorders may have affected the family. Also, these studies did not include control groups and used poorly operationalized definitions of schizophrenia. Also, ethical implications are possible using such explanations of schizophrenia. Psychological harm may be caused, as suggesting the parents “caused” the disorder is unhelpful and possibly highly destructive.

A second psychological theory comes from expressed emotion. Expression emotion is a family communication style that involves high levels of criticism, hostility and emotional over-involvement. Research has demonstrated that individuals from families with high expressed emotion are 3.7 times more likely to relapse than in families from low expressed emotion. Supportive research from expressed emotion comes from Brown (1972),who found patients who returned to homes where a high level of expressed emotion was expressed, showed a greater tendency to relapse compared to those returning to a low expressed emotion household.

Vaughn and Leff (1976) found similar results. They found 51% of schizophrenics relapsed in highly expressed emotion homes, compared to only 13% in low expressed emotion homes. Support from the notion of expressed emotion has now become a well established “maintenance” model of schizophrenia and many prospective studies have been conducted with support to the expressed emotion hypothesis among many cultures.

However, the view that families interaction plays a causal role in the development of schizophrenia lacks empirical support, and such approaches have difficulty in explaining why abnormal patterns develop in some, rather than all of the children in the family. The research is only correlational. Also, there is a lack of explanatory power, given that communication may be similar between schizophrenic and non-schizophrenic families, the theory lacks validity-they don’t account for the varied expression and severity of the disorder.

Researchers have also investigated the physiological abnormalities associated with schizophrenia, leading to cognitive malfunctioning. According to Hemsley’s neuropsychological model of schizophrenia, one of the cause of this disorder is the result of a breakdown in the relationship between previously stored information and new, incoming sensory information. This theory claims schizophrenics schemas are not activated, are subjected to sensory overload, leading to possible superficial incidents being seen as highly relevant, explaining delusions.

This theory provides support for cognitive explanations of schizophrenia because although it may not explain schizophrenia, but provides explanations of the origins of particular symptoms. However, as cognitive theories can only explain origins of symptoms, to explain schizophrenia fully ,this explanation would need to be combined with the biological model. Psychological explanations of schizophrenia can be criticized as they are not scientific in comparison to other explanations, such as biological explanations. Also, psychological explanations do not tell us everything we need to know about the disorder because they are reductionist.

This is because it only focuses on psychological explanations, eliminating possible biological explanations. Such explanations are a simplistic view of human behaviour, and of an extremely complex disorder. In conclusion, according to the diathesis stress model schizophrenia is caused by both psychological and biological factors. The reasoning behind this theory is that certain individuals have a predisposition to the disorder, but will only go onto develop schizophrenia if they are exposed to stressful situations.

Biological factors alone cannot account for the origin and maintenance of schizophrenia and therefore psychological explanations look at other important contributory factors shown through psychodynamic views, family models and cognitive models. According to one psychodynamic view, schizophrenia arises from the …

Research into schizophrenia shows that there is a major genetic component but the fact that concordance rates between identical twins is never 100% means that there must be environmental contributions.’ Discuss biological explanations of schizophrenia. (30 marks) Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder …

‘Research into schizophrenia shows that there is a major genetic component but the fact that concordance rates between identical twins is never 100% means that there must be environmental contributions.’ Discuss biological explanations of schizophrenia. (30 marks) Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder …

A criticism of this theory is quite simply that not enough is known about the way in which the brain works. In addition there is the question of cause and effect; these types of abnormalities may be a symptom of …

David from Healtheappointments:

Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out https://goo.gl/chNgQy