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Title: Psychological vulnerability markers of bipolar disorder across individualist and collectivist cultures
Author: Al-Shayee, Ahmad Kassab
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2012
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Bipolar Disorder (BD) is a severe psychological disorder charactrised by recurrent mood swings, and can be associated with harmful consequences. Psychological accounts of BD are now proposed despite the long-term domination of biological approaclies. Amongst these accounts are the Positive Appraisal (PA) and, the BAS dysregulation I hypoth~ses. IJ;l the former account, BD symptoms are likely to emerge as a result of attributing initial bipolar-relevant experiences such as elation to internal characteristics. In the latter account, symptomatology is seen to result from excessive activation or deactivation of a motivational system called 'Behavioural Activation System' (BAS). Empirical ~!Udies have..--yielded support for both theories. Given the recent advances in the psychological research into BD, it is currently needed to examine the relative contributions of the above-mentioned hypotheses simultaneously, and consider incorporating culture into this line of research to make it more generalisable. Studies reported in this thesis were designed to address these two issues. Using a behavioural index of risk for BD, high-risk and control groups were recruited from two broad cultural contexts, individualist and collectivist, and compared crOss-sectionally each on various psycho-social variables derived deliberately from the BAS and P A accounts. Across both cultural contexts, vulnerable individuals performed generally in line with expectations. Yet, the relative importance of individual variables appears to vary between the cultural groups. The tendency to make PAs was observed in high-risk subjects of both cultural groups. Interestingly, however, normalising appraisals were also apparent in the collectivist group, which could be seen as a cultural specificity. Also, cultural differences on the factorial structure of hypomanic symptoms and personality were emerged. A model involving components of BAS were tested. Results were generally in support of the assumed relationships between BAS variables. Research and clinical implications, limitations and suggested studies are provided.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available