An Interpersonal Measure of Hostility Based on Speech Context

  • Thomas Gift
  • Robert Cole
  • Lyman Wynne


While the importance of family and social factors in the prognosis of schizophrenia has long been recognized, the work of Brown, Birley and Wing [1] and Vaughn and Leff [8] on criticism and emotional overinvolvement in families of discharged schizophrenic patients is at present a major research focus. In their replicated studies, the Expressed Emotion (EE) ratings of key relatives (e.g., a spouse or parent) predicted with high accuracy the relapse or acute exacerbation of symptoms within the 9 months after discharge of schizophrenic patients who have returned to live with these relatives. The informant’s EE was measured on three primary scales: Critical Comments, Hostility, and Emotional Overinvolvement [7, 8]. The Critical Comments and Emotional Overinvolvement Scales depend partly on the contents of the informant’s speech and partly on tone of voice. The ratings were made from audiotape recordings of interviews and have yielded high interrater reliability.


Married Woman Critical Comment Express Emotion Word Count Interparental Conflict 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Brown GW, Birley JLT, Wing JK (1972) Influence of family life on the course of schizophrenic disorders: a replication. Br J Psychiatry 121: 241–258PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Emery RE (1982) Interparental conflict and the children of discord and divorce. Psychol Bull 92: 310–330PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gottschalk LA, Frank EC (1967) Estimating the magnitude of anxiety from speech. Behav Sci 12: 289–295PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gottschalk LA, Winget CN, Gleser GC (1969) Manual of instructions for using the Gottschalk-Gleser content analysis scales: anxiety, hostility, and social alienation — personal disorganization. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gottschalk LA (ed) (1979) The content analysis of verbal behavior: further studies. Spectrum, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hollingshead AS (1977) Four factor index of social status. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Leff JP, Wing JK (1971) Trial of maintenance therapy in schizophrenia. Brit Med J 3: 599–604PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Vaughn CE, Leff JP (1976) The influence of family and social factors on the course of psychiatric illness: a comparison of schizophrenic and depressed neurotic patients. Br J Psychiatry 129: 125–137PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Vaughn CE, Snyder KS, Jones S, Freeman MA, Falloon IR (1984) Family factors in schizo-phrenia relapse: replication in california of british research on expressed emotion. Arch Gen Psychiatry 41: 1169–1178PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wynne LC, Gift TE (1979) A five-minute speech sample technique for assessing family emotional atmosphere, presented at the NIMH conference on expressed emotion, Washington DC, april 17–18Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Gift
  • Robert Cole
  • Lyman Wynne

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations