Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: First-episode psychosis and the moral exculpation of parents
Author: Coulter, Carlton
ISNI:       0000 0004 2700 938X
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
In recent years a significant investment has been made in order to set up Early Intervention in Psychosis teams across England. These teams are responsible for delivering mental health services to people said to be experiencing first-episode psychosis, including the provision of 'psycho-education' for parents. The present study involved conducting eight interviews with such parents using a broad range of questions on the subject of first-episode psychosis. The study adopted a discursive psychology perspective towards the subject matter, with the analysis focusing on the rhetorical and interactional aspects of the discourse, through the use of specific discourse analysis and conversation analysis techniques respectively. The results of the analysis suggested that participants oriented to a common cultural understanding that parents can be responsible for causing, preventing, and intervening in the course of, such things as first-episode psychosis. In orienting to notions of parental causality, participants were seen to invoke lay versions of the type of causal explanations of schizophrenia that have been outlined in the psychological literature over the last century. Yet, the participants were also seen to work up the expert status of the interviewer, to defer to professional knowledge, and to claim to know nothing of such matters. This aspect of the analysis was taken as evidence of the success of the 'psy' project in establishing the superiority of professional knowledge over lay accounts. The analysis also demonstrated how participants attempted to work up their moral credentials as parents. This was understood as demonstrating that the parents did not orient to first-episode psychosis as a biological phenomenon, but rather as a moral assessment of their children's non-conforming behaviour, for which they, as parents, were morally culpable. The results of the study were used to make recommendations regarding how EIP teams should approach the task of working with parents.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available