Psychological Explanations for Scizophrenia

Authors Avatar by ellouise1997hotmailcom (student)

Psychological explanations  

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 inability to test reality for instance, draw up logical conclusions and to be able to distinguish between the internal and external world. It is also said that childhood experiences can then lead to the unconscious conflict within the ego, id and super-ego which can contribute to schizophrenia.

Although this approach provides us with an alternative explanation to schizophrenia, it is very weak. This is a retrospective approach to studying schizophrenia which means overtime memory fades and therefore reports back to childhood cannot be completely reliable.

Also by being a retrospective approach it overemphasises childhood. Childhood may have a large impact on schizophrenia but what it fails to consider is recent events. For instance, the Diathesis-Stress Model suggests that schizophrenia can occur due to stressful life events that could trigger psychotic symptoms. Perhaps recent events that cause stress are a more important factor rather than childhood.

Lastly, the approach focuses on the unconscious which is difficult to falsify which means we cannot be completely certain that the unconscious plays a role in the development of schizophrenia. Because there is no evidence that proves that this is how schizophrenia occurs we cannot rely upon this explanation. Therefore other explanations provide more convincing explanations.  

Join now!

An alternative explanation is family models. Recent research has centred on the concept of expressed emotion (EE). Families that are hostile, show criticism and are over concerned place vulnerability to schizophrenia because they class as a high expressed emotion family. This was originally based on work by Brown which showed that patients with schizophrenia were more likely to relapse if they retuned homes characterised by high levels of expressed emotion than to homes characterised by low levels of expressed emotion (Low EE).

Research by Brown was further supported by Tarrier which consistently showed that there is a strong relationship ...

This is a preview of the whole essay