2022-02-01Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.721796
Expressed Emotion in the Family: A Meta-Analytic Review of Expressed Emotion as a Mechanism of the Transgenerational Transmission of Mental Disorders
Background High Expressed Emotion (HEE) has been identified as a risk factor for the exacerbation and course of mental illness. EE has been investigated as a caregiver's response to an offspring's problem behavior and pathology. The present meta-analysis regards EE from a transgenerational perspective and as one mechanism that might explain the transgenerational transmission of mental disorders. Method We identified a total of 13 studies relying on 16 independent samples of parent-child dyads of parents with a mental illness and healthy controls; these were included in our analysis. Results were synthesized into one effect size per sample; meta-regression on additional effects of parental diagnostic category, child mental illness, and child age were also applied. Results Parents with a mental illness are classified as HEE significantly more often. Effects were established for high criticism, albeit of small size (OR = 1.45), although they become stronger whenever offspring exhibit mental illness themselves (OR = 2.82). Conclusion The current study highlights the dearth of studies on EE in families in which a parent has a mental illness and its effects on their children. Our findings highlight EE as a potential mechanism for attributing the transgenerational transmission of mental disorders, especially for the EE-variable criticism, indicating dysfunctional parent-child interactions. Systematic Review Registration http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO/display_record.php?ID=CRD42019117609, identifier: CRD42019117609.
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