University of Oulu

Siitonen, P., Keisanen, T., & Wahlberg, K. (2017). How is family interaction analysed as a risk factor for schizophrenia? A cross-method comparison. Communication & Medicine, 14(1). Retrieved 19 October, 2017, from

How is family interaction analysed as a risk factor for schizophrenia? : a cross-method comparison

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Author: Siitonen, Pauliina1; Keisanen, Tiina1; Wahlberg, Karl-Erik1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: De Gruyter, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-03-07


In this paper, we compare two methodological approaches — Conversation Analysis (CA) and the Communication Deviance (CD) Scale — in detecting confusing family interaction, which is considered one of the risk factors for schizophrenia. CA is a method for identifying and describing actions in interaction, whereas the CD Scale presents the criteria for identifying communication defects in the field of schizophrenia research. Our aim is to determine whether the approaches resonate with and could complement each other in analysing the same interactional data — i.e., a total of 10.5 hours of audio-recorded Finnish family interaction in a psychological test in which the participants negotiate on mutual Rorschach inkblot interpretations. The data include 585 proposals by the family members. Here we focus on three types of proposal sequences (140 in all) where a proposal is not followed by an acceptance or a rejection. We have earlier shown that from the CA perspective, the family members orient to the discontinuity of these sequences by pursuing an explicit response to a proposal, but very rarely make the ‘problematic’ nature of the interaction visible to each other or the analyst. In the present paper, we will show that the CD Scale finds communication defects in the sequences under analysis but that the defects do not primarily involve the discontinuity of the sequence. Thus CA and the CD Scale look at interaction from different perspectives and disagree on what is considered an interactional problem.

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Series: Communication and medicine
ISSN: 1612-1783
ISSN-E: 1613-3625
ISSN-L: 1612-1783
Volume: 14
Issue: 1
Pages: 25 - 38
DOI: 10.1558/cam.27246
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
3124 Neurology and psychiatry
Funding: Sponsor(s): Tyyni Tani Foundation, University of Oulu; University of Oulu Scholarship Foundation, University of Oulu; Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu
Copyright information: Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.