European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 16, Issue 7, pp 458–464 | Cite as

Mothers’ expressed emotion toward their school-aged sons

Associations with child and maternal symptoms of psychopathology
  • Lamprini Psychogiou
  • Dave M. Daley
  • Margaret J. Thompson
  • Edmund J. S. Sonuga-Barke



Evidence suggests that mothers are negative and critical when talking about their children with behaviour problems. However the association with specific types of behaviour problems and the influence of both child and adult psychopathology on these relationships require further clarification.


Speech samples were gathered from mothers of 100 school-aged boys and coded using standard Expressed Emotion (EE) categories. Levels of maternal and child psychopathology were ascertained using standardised questionnaires completed by the mother.


There were significant and positive correlations between criticism and child ADHD, conduct and emotional symptoms respectively. There were also significant and negative correlations between EOI and child ADHD and conduct problems.


The findings of the current study suggest that when considered together EE is driven more by the child rather than by maternal characteristics and these effects are specific to conduct and emotional problems. The implications of the findings are discussed.


expressed emotion five minute speech sample child psychopathology parent psychopathology 


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Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lamprini Psychogiou
    • 1
  • Dave M. Daley
    • 2
  • Margaret J. Thompson
    • 1
  • Edmund J. S. Sonuga-Barke
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of WalesBangorUK
  3. 3.Child Study CenterNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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