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Expressed emotion (EE) was examined, using the brief Five Minute Speech Sample measure, in families of (1) children with depressive disorders, (2) children with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and (3) normal controls screened for the absence of psychiatric disorder. Consistent with the hypothesis of some specificity in the association between EE and the form of child disorder, rates of EE were significantly higher among families of depressed children compared to families of normal controls and families of children with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Within the depressed group, the presence of a comorbid disruptive behavior disorder was associated with high levels of critical EE, underscoring the need to attend to comorbid patterns and subtypes of EE in future research.


Originally published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 22(2), 129-146.

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