Causal, responsibility and blame attributions for positive and negative symptom behaviours were examined in 70 caregivers of persons with schizophrenia.
The majority of subjects belonged to self-help group organizations. The three types of attributions for positive and negative symptom behaviours were assessed by self-report questionnaires.
The extent of patient responsibility did not differ between the two types behaviours. Intentionality and knowledge were equally important in predicting responsibility for positive symptom behaviours, while intent was the most important predictor of responsibility for negative symptom behaviours with the patient capacity playing a significant but minor role. The entailment model was not supported for the two types of behaviours.
Increased attention should be given to responsibility dimensions in assigning moral accountability to the patient. The entailment model should be further explored in problematical caregiving situations.