• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and evaluate psychological explanations of schizophrenia

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Outline and evaluate psychological explanations of schizophrenia The incidence of schizophrenia is not distributed evenly across the population. The highest rates of schizophrenia are found in urban areas, among people of the lowest socioeconomic group. The incidence of schizophrenia among the very poor is four times greater than in the highest socio economic grou0p. Two hypotheses have been suggested to explain these findings: the social causation hypothesis and the social drift hypothesis. According to the social causation hypothesis, it is the experience of being a member of a low socioeconomic status group that explains the higher incidence of schizophrenia. Unemployment, poverty, high crime rate and poor housing induce a great deal of stress and feelings of alienation, which in turn make people more vulnerable to schizophrenia. Whilst the social drift hypothesis, it is accorded that this hypothesis people with schizophrenia drift down the social ladder into the lowest socioeconomic group. As a result of their disorder they may be unemployed or be restricted to low paid and unskilled jobs. Support for the social causation hypothesis comes from findings that schizophrenia is almost seven times more common in African-Caribbean people than in white ...read more.

Middle

Is the metacommunication. A child who is continuously put in double-bind situations has great difficulty in developing an internal construction of reality and struggles to find a strategy to cope with her/her confusion. One strategy is to ignore primary communications and instead look for the metacommunications - in looks, voice tones and gestures. A person who adopts this way of making sense of their world may be on their way to developing symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. There has been very little support for the double-bind hypothesis. However, studies have shown that schizophrenia is often linked to stressful family situations. It has been found that parents of people with schizophrenia show more conflict, have greater difficulty in communicating and are more critical and over-involved with each other than parents of people without schizophrenia (Comer 1998) An important methodological flaw in family studies was that the family interactions were studied retrospectively. Thus there is a problem of cause and effect: the disturbed patterns of communication may contribute to the development of schizophrenia (a cause) or be the result of living with a person who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia (an effect). ...read more.

Conclusion

There is an issue of identifying a family with high expressed emotion - assessment requires only one observation or interview, which may not be sufficient to provide a reliable picture of family dynamics. A positive outcome of research into expressed emotion has been its application in treatment programmes - supporting family members in controlling levels of expressed emotion. However, although many theorists agree that social factors and dysfunctional family interactions play some role, evidence from other sources challenge a strictly psychological account of schizophrenia. The findings from twin studies show an important genetic contribution. Tiernari's Finnish adoption studiy found that the reported cases of schizophrenia were amongst high risk children (those whose biological mothers were diagnosed schizophrenic) and who were raised in families rated as 'disturbed'. However, low-risk (that is children whose biological mothers did not have schizophrenia) raised in families rated as 'disturbed', did not develop schizophrenia. The implication of this finding is that both a genetic predisposition and adverse life experiences are involved in the development of schizophrenia. ?? ?? ?? ?? A2 Psychology Sam Wong ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

Response to Question: The writer gives a competent description of a wide range of explanations of schizophrenia (social causation hypothesis, the social drift hypothesis, double-bind communications, expressed emotion, genetics and environment). Additionally many plausible evaluations are given – and ...

Read full review

Response to the question

Response to Question: The writer gives a competent description of a wide range of explanations of schizophrenia (social causation hypothesis, the social drift hypothesis, double-bind communications, expressed emotion, genetics and environment). Additionally many plausible evaluations are given – and these work in a logical order following each descriptive point. For example the writer describes the double-blind hypothesis – “Double-bind messages contain a contradiction between a verbal communication (termed the primary communication) and a nonverbal communication (the metacommunication).” and then criticises it accordingly – “There has been very little support for the double-bind hypothesis…”. However, despite a decent amount of solid information, the essay lacks an introduction and conclusion which would help to make the overall opinion of the writer more obvious, and hence raise the standard of the essay. The intro could simply contain: a definition of schizophrenia and a quick summary of which explanations are going to be explored. Then the conclusion could come to a decision on which is the best explanation and why (or say that several are equally valid).

Level of analysis

Level of Analysis: They provide many good evaluative points for instance, evidence for the theory of expressed emotion from Kavanagh. This is then also evaluated for having no direction of causality. Giving a piece of research to support and then also evaluating this research is good as it shows a greater depth of understanding – rather than simply learning lists of studies. Nevertheless a lot of points could be more fully developed for example “A positive outcome of research into expressed emotion has been its application in treatment programmes – supporting family members in controlling levels of expressed emotion.” One sentence is acceptable to explain a point but probably won’t get you top marks. To improve this the writer needs to expand and elaborate on the point (they could say what the treatment programmes involve and compare them to alternative treatments. Why are they better? Are they cheaper? Lower relapse rates? More ethical?) . Finally, as mentioned above, a conclusion needs to be reached in order to fully answer the ‘evaluate’ part of the question; the writer should pick a/a few theories and say which is better and why.

Quality of writing

Quality of Writing: In terms of spelling, grammar and punctuation the essay is fine. Technical terms such as ‘double-blind’ and ‘expressed emotion’ are used successfully – this shows the reader that the writer understands the topic fully. In criticism, the writer doesn’t follow conventions in terms of structure – there is no introduction or conclusion which prevents the essay from reaching the highest mark bands. To add, the way the essay is laid-out lets it down; it is unconventional to use so many one-sentence-paragraphs and so this should be avoided. Some of these short paragraphs could have been condensed into one longer paragraph on the same topic (such as the 3 points on expressed emotion). These could be connected with words like ‘furthermore’, ‘however’ and ‘nevertheless’ so that it sounds more flowing and natural.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by danielle-dansmell 24/02/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Psychology - Stress

    The endocrine glands, kidneys and other internal organs are damaged and this results in what Selye calls diseases of adaption, which can be ulcers, asthma and coronary heart disease. ...... There is evidence, although not conclusive, to show that stress is linked to cancer.

  2. How does watching television influence the behaviours and cognitions of young children?

    For example, the previously mentioned study by Anderson et Al (2007) contradicts this theory arguing that watching television at an early age can have negative implications for academic success in girls, as they become less socialised for school. It could be argued that as there have been theories and research

  1. Describe processes for initiating, maintaining, developing and concluding a counselling relation.

    The counsellor has to make sure the client understand everything that is being said to them, this is done by paraphrasing and summarising. The counsellor must try to fill in the gaps with questions or talking when there is silence.

  2. Communication skills in a group interaction.

    This group feeling is sometimes known and described as a group identity. This occurs in a caring, or working situation where people belong together and would identify the as belonging in a group. There are two types of groups, primary and secondary, which have been identified by social scientists.

  1. Autism & Learning Difficulties.

    an autistic child/ren within a set of twins because as well as autism being rare, having twins is also rare. Therefore there are not may reported cases of twined autistic children so results from these studies are unreliable to conclude.

  2. Outline and evaluate psychological therapies for schizophrenia

    found that CBT moderately improved the symptoms of schizophrenia in 50% to 60% of sufferers, but only when it was used in conjunction with drug therapy. However, other studies have found no benefits for CBT a year after treatment was stopped.

  1. Describe and Evaluate Bowlby's and Ainsworth's ideas about parent-child relationships.

    become very angry when she leaves or they seem almost indifferent to her presence or absence and do not view her as a safe base. Based on their reactions to the different situations during the experiment, infants can be classed as one of three Types according to criteria developed by Ainsworth et al.

  2. Who do you think is the more tragic hero in the Medea?

    must be noted that even after Medea has revealed what her plan is they still reaffirm their support for her. 'Streams of the sacred rivers flow uphill. Tradition, order, all things are reversed...A time comes when the female sex is honoured' (lines 414-419).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work