Numerous studies have examined whether certain specific attributes of intrafamilial attitudes and relationships are related to the onset and course of schizophrenia. A frequent underlying assumption of this research has been that these attributes interact with a biological predisposition to the disorder, raising or lowering the probability of its expression or of recurrences, once the initial onset has appeared. Previous work within a longitudinal study of disturbed adolescents indicated that a number of qualities in parents were associated with an increased risk for schizophrenia spectrum disorder, particularly deviant communication and negative affective attitudes and interaction behaviour (Goldstein, 1987). In assessing the quality of communication, the construct and operational definition of communication deviance (CD) as elucidated by Wynne et al (1976) were used. With regard to affective attitudes, the operational definition of high expressed emotion (EE), developed by Brown et al (1972) and by Vaughn & Leff (1976), was used, while affective interactive behaviour was coded using the affective style system of Doane et al (1981).