Journal Article

Cross-Cultural Analysis of Eventfulness in the Lives of People With Schizophrenia

Karen L. Schmidt, Felix Y. Attah Johnson and John S. Allen

in Schizophrenia Bulletin

Published on behalf of Maryland Psychiatric Research Center

Volume 26, issue 4, pages 825-834
Published in print January 2000 | ISSN: 0586-7614
Published online January 2000 | e-ISSN: 1745-1701 | DOI:
Cross-Cultural Analysis of Eventfulness in the Lives of People With Schizophrenia

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Eventfulness as a strategy for creating a meaningful life is an important component of the attempts of people with schizophrenia to present a positive self-image. This study of patients with schizophrenia shows that the phenomenon of creating eventfulness through normalcy accounts is relevant cross-culturally, with common themes occurring in the speech of participants from Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. Both patient (n=23) and nonpatient (n=27) participants from these two countries were interviewed as part of a larger research project. Conversational speech of participants was analyzed for passages that could be defined as normalcy accounts. A total of 61 such accounts were obtained from the conversational samples. The three most common themes of normalcy accounts (educational achievement and goals, national pride, and travel) were characteristic of the self-presentation of nonpatient subjects as well as patients with schizophrenia. Normalcy themes varied slightly depending on nationality and patient or nonpatient status. The similarity of both normalcy account themes and presentation, however, was remarkably consistent across cultures.

Keywords: Papua New Guinea; New Zealand; social interaction; narrative; self-presentation

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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