Background. Family of schizophrenic patient plays a key role in their psychosocial adaptation. On the other hand, according to numerous data, adverse family relations are associated with high relapse risk. Family member’s illness is a severe stress factor for the whole family. However, families differ from each other to the degrees of emerging dysfunctions. Yet mechanisms which underlay interactional disturbances in those families remain unexplored.
Objective. The study represents complex research of the role of symptoms severity, interactional characteristics of a family, which are represented in family flexibility and cohesion parameters (FACES-3), and emotional and communicative competence (EmIn Lousin D.V.) as well as life satisfaction of main caregiver in psychosocial adaptation of a patient with schizophrenia.
Design. The paper presents the research of 122 test subjects, paired in dyads – schizophrenic patient (paranoid form) and their major caregiver. Patients gender distribution: 33 female and 28 males, average age 32.5±9.44 (M±SD), hospitalizations rate – 5.44 ±5.27, average illness duration – 9.93±6.85. Caregiver’s genders: 12 males and 49 females. Average major caregiver’s age – 53±11.91.
Results. Derived from structural equations, a model was invented showing that symptoms severity plays negative role in psychosocial adaptation of a patient with schizophrenia (p<0.001), whilst more balanced family characteristics have a supportive effect (p<0.001). Communicative competence of major caregiver increases balance of family characteristics (p<0.001).
Conclusion. The results indicate that the possibilities of social adaptation in patients with schizophrenia are determined by both objective factors (the severity of psychopathological symptoms) and the character of family dysfunctions that are closely associated with the emotional and communicative competence of main caregivers. In this way development of communicational skills in major caregivers may be the part of complex psychosocial interventions into schizophrenic patient’s families. Further research in this area may be aimed both at assessing the effectiveness of interventions, and at improving the tools to be used through experimental methods of assessing the family disruptions and emotional and communicative competence, as well as expanding the number of measured parameters (e.g. cognitive deficit of patients) for a more comprehensive understanding of the problem.
Social anxiety has a significant negative impact on the individual’s everyday life through handicapping process of social adaptation. In this regard, psychologists observe an increasing amount of research focused on coping-strategies in social phobia. Humorous reactions on stressful events are considered an important and effective coping strategy. The objective of this research is to study the impact of the humour as a coping strategy on different manifestations of social anxiety, as well as the associated feelings of guilt and shame in healthy people and patients with schizophrenia. The study involved 34 patients with schizophrenia and 102 healthy people, aged 18 to 35, males and females. As a research method we used questionnaires such as Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale, Guilt and Shame Proneness Scale. The results showed that patients with schizophrenia are less likely to use humour as a coping strategy than healthy people. The results of one-way ANOVA method demonstrated that humour as a coping strategy is effective in some, but not all, aspects of social anxiety. The results of two-way ANOVA method showed that humour as a coping strategy could be effective to cope with shame and guilt, but at low level of social anxiety. At high level of social anxiety humour could not only be ineffective to cope with shame and guilt, but also have a negative influence on these emotions. In healthy males with low level of social anxiety humour helps to cope with withdrawal actions in shame. In males with schizophrenia and low levels of social anxiety humour reduces repair actions in guilt. These results indicate heterogenic influence of humour over social anxiety, shame and guilt, and can be used for diagnostic purposes and for psychocorrection.