Cultural variability in the manifestation of expressed emotion

Steven R. LÓpez, Jorge I. RamÍrez GarcÍa, Jodie B. Ullman, Alex Kopelowicz, Janis Jenkins, Nicholas J.K. Breitborde, Perla Placencia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


We examined the distribution of expressed emotion (EE) and its indices in a sample of 224 family caregivers of individuals with schizophrenia pooled from 5 studies, 3 reflecting a contemporary sample of Mexican Americans (MA 2000, N=126), 1 of an earlier study of Mexican Americans (MA 1980, N=44), and the other of an earlier study of Anglo Americans (AA, N=54). Chi-square and path analyses revealed no significant differences between the 2 MA samples in rates of high EE, critical comments, hostility, and emotional over-involvement (EOI). Only caregiver warmth differed for the 2 MA samples; MA 1980 had higher warmth than MA 2000. Significant differences were consistently found between the combined MA samples and the AA sample; AAs had higher rates of high EE, more critical comments, less warmth, less EOI, and a high EE profile comprised more of criticism/hostility. We also examined the relationship of proxy measures of acculturation among the MA 2000 sample. The findings support and extend Jenkins' earlier observations regarding the cultural variability of EE for Mexican Americans. Implications are discussed regarding the cross-cultural measurement of EE and the focus of family interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-194
Number of pages16
JournalFamily Process
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Culture
  • Emotional Over-involvement
  • Expressed Emotion
  • Family Caregivers
  • Mexican Americans
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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