Family Functioning and Self Concept as Indicators of Psychopathology in Adults
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Abstract of the thesis
The present study examines the role of family functioning and self-concept in psychopathology by comparing the groups of adults with psychopathology (patients) and without psychopathology (normal) on the variables of family functioning and self-concept. Further, it examines the relationship between family functioning and self-concept. After a detailed literature review, it was hypothesized that a) Adults with psychopathology would score high on the variable of ‘communication’ in family, as compared to their normal counterparts; b) Adults with psychopathology would score high on the variable of ‘control’ in family, as compared to their normal counterparts; c) Adults with psychopathology would score high on the variable of ‘involvement in family, as compared to their normal counterparts; d) Adults with psychopathology would score low on the variable of self-concept as compared to their normal counterparts; c) Family functioning (communication, control & involvement) would be a predictor of self-concept in the sample of adults with psychopathology.
The sample consisted of 180 unmarried adult volunteers. The entire sample comprised of two groups (1.¢c., 90 diagnosed patients with psychopathology and 90 normal adults). The first sample included adults falling in the three major classifications of mental disorders, that is, 30 adult patients with the diagnosis of Psychotic Disorder (Schizophrenia), 30 adult patients with the diagnosis of Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia and Major Depression), and 30 adult patients with the diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder (Specific and Social Phobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder), These individuals were diagnosed as having above-mentioned disorders by their respective psychiatrist and clinical psychologists according to the criteria of DSM-IV Text Revision (APA, 2000), and were selected from various psychiatric clinics and hospitals. The second sample of normal adults was drawn from different institutes and organizations of the metropolitan city of Karachi, Pakistan. These individuals did not have a history of psychological problems and had never sought any kind of psychiatric /psychological treatment (psychotropic medication/psychotherapy). The ages of participants in both samples ranged from 20 to 35 years with the mean age of 25.25 years (patients 25,22 years and normal adults 25.28 years). The entire sample belonged to the middle socioeconomic class and the minimum educational level was intermediate. To further confirm the diagnosis and obtain clinical/ personal information, the examiner filled in the semi-structured interview form for psychological assessment designed by the Institute of Clinical Psychology, University of Karachi. The general subscale of Family Assessment Measure-UI (Skinner, Steinhauer & Santa-Barbara, 1984) and Six-factor self-concept scale (Stake, 1994) was administered in order to assess impairment in family functioning (Communication, Control, Involvement) and self-concept of both groups (with psychopathology and normal) respectively.
One way Analyses of Variance (ANOVA) were applied to determine the difference between adults with psychopathology (psychosis, depression and anxiety disorders) and normal adults on the variables of family functioning (Communication, Control and Involvement) and degree of self-concept; Post hoc analyses were conducted to further assess the mean difference of normal group from three groups with psychopathology (Psychosis, Depression and Anxiety disorders), Multiple Regression analysis was done to see the causal relationship between the variables of family functioning (Communication, Control and Involvement) and self-concept in the sample with psychopathology, and additionally in the entire sample. Additionally, t-tests, Pearson product-moment correlations, partial correlations and stepwise regression were calculated.
The results showed significant differences in the variables of family functioning and level of self-concept between adults with and without psychopathology. Adults without psychopathology have higher scores on family functioning variables which reflect deviant patterns of communication, inadequate control and involvement and in the families of adults with psychopathology as compared to their normal counterparts. Similarly, adults with psychopathology have lower scores on self-concept as compared to normal participants. Further, it was also found that family functioning predicts self-concept in adults with psychopathology. Avenues for future research have also been suggested, while implications and limitations have been illustrated.
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