Friendship in people with schizophrenia: a survey

Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Ellen Wan-Yuk HarleyT J Craig


To explore the quantitative and qualitative aspects of friendship in people with schizophrenia. To examine emotional and behavioural commitment, experiences of stigma, and the impact of illness factors that may affect the making and keeping of friends. The difference in the perception between the researcher and participants of the presence of problems in friendships was also investigated. The size and quality of the social networks of 137 people with established schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, aged 18-65 in one geographical area of southeast England was ascertained using a semi-structured interview. Qualitative aspects of friendship were measured using objective, pre-determined, investigator-rated criteria. The mean number of friends reported by respondents was 1.57. Men were less likely to report friendships than women (29 vs. 53%, χ (2) = 13.51, df 1, p < 0.001). Of the 79 people who had a friend, 75 named someone amongst fellow service users. The quality of these friendships was generally good. Emotional commitment to friendship and mistrust were more important than current clinical state in determining whether or not the participant has friends. Most of those without friends did not see the lack of friendship as ...Continue Reading


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