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Psychological explanations of schizophrenia

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´╗┐Psychological explanations of Schizophrenia (SZ) There are many suggestions that Schizophrenia can be caused by certain psychological factors and stressors. E.g. the more stressful an event the more likely that someone will develop schizophrenic symptoms. Other reasons can be social or cognitive. It is thought that SZ occurs more in people of lower socio-economic stature and this can be explained in 2 ways: low economic status itself has been said to cause high levels of stress due to the poor living conditions and struggle to survive, making those who have the potential to get schizophrenia more likely to show symptoms. It is said that this view is reductionist as it doesn?t take into account the biological factors also even though there is evidence supporting the claims that acute stress can inhibit SZ it is unlikely that Social class and economic stature is the sole cause and it is more likely to be just a contributing factor. ...read more.


Family relationships are also thought to help develop SZ. Fromm Reichmann (1948) created the term ?Schizophrenogenic families? which describes families with high emotional tension meaning they are more likely to develop SZ symptoms. The double bind hypothesis Bateson et al (1956) suggests that children who are exposed to prolonged conflicting messages are more likely to become withdrawn and confused which can manifest into more severe schizophrenic symptoms. In 1965 Berger found that schizophrenics reported a higher recall of double bind statements by their mothers than non-sufferers however the fact that he has relied on the recall of schizophrenic patients who are known for being highly paranoid makes his findings slightly less reliable. Liem (1974) measured patterns of parental communication with families who have a child with SZ and compared them to a control group found that there was no difference between the two suggesting the double bind theory isn?t contributing to SZ. ...read more.


This can be related to positive symptoms of SZ such as delusions and disorganised thoughts. Hemsley (1993) also said that people with SZ are unable to distinguish relationships between information that has already been stored and that is an incoming stimuli. This failure to activate schemas meaning they don?t know which part of a situation to focus their attentions on. Hemsley tried to link this to an underlying neurological system, the hippocampus region of the brain. However there is little empirical evidence to support this with a few encouraging findings coming from evidence found from animal studies. As for Frith?s theory it doesn?t really explain the causes for SZ and just describes symptoms. To be really reliable and valid it needs to be linked with the biological approach to explain it well. ...read more.

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