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Forming a More Integrated Self-Narrative in Schizophrenia: The Influence of Family and Social Factors

Faculty Supervisor:
Paul Lewis
Year of Project Completion:
Heather Linscheid


The aim of this study is to examine the differences that exist among people with schizophrenia in the construction and integration of the illness into their self-narrative. This disparity was examined to see if it had any relation to various factors such as family reaction to diagnosis, importance of family, family support, family contact, current employment, involvement in social groups, educational level and civil state. To assess this, 18 participants diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and other mental illness diagnoses were given a short questionnaire as well as the Indiana Psychiatric Illness Interview (IPII), which was scored using the Narrative Coherence Rating Scale (NCRS). NCRS scores on the details, temporal conceptual connections, and plausibility of each narrative was compared to familial and social factors as well as socio demographics. The importance of family and family support was related to scores on plausibility. Family reaction caused a significant difference in scores on plausibility. Family importance, support, and contact were not significantly related to scores on richness of details or temporal conceptual connections. A higher education level was related to higher scores on temporal conceptual connections. The results suggest that certain family factors and socio demographics may be related to more plausible and conceptually connected narratives of illness.

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.