A relationship of sorts: gender and auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia spectrum disorders

Stefanie Suessenbacher-Kessler, Andrea Gmeiner, Tamara Diendorfer, Beate Schrank, Annemarie Unger, Michaela Amering

Publikation: Beitrag in Fachzeitschrift (peer-reviewed)Artikel in Fachzeitschrift

1 Zitat (Scopus)


Voice hearing has been conceptualized as an interrelational framework, where the interaction between voice and voice hearer is reciprocal and resembles "real-life interpersonal interactions." Although gender influences social functioning in "real-life situations," little is known about respective effects of gender in the voice hearing experience. One hundred seventeen participants with a schizophrenia spectrum disorder took part in a semi-structured interview about the phenomenology of their voices and completed standardized self-rating questionnaires on their beliefs about their most dominant male and female voices and the power differentials in their respective voice-voice hearer interactions. Additionally, the voice hearers' individual masculine/feminine traits were recorded. Men heard significantly more male than female dominant voices, while the gender ratio of dominant voices was balanced in women. Although basic phenomenological characteristics of voices were similar in both genders, women showed greater amounts of distress caused by the voices and reported a persistence of voices for longer time periods. Command hallucinations that encouraged participants to harm others were predominantly male. Regarding voice appraisals, high levels of traits associated with masculinity (=instrumentality/agency) correlated with favorable voice appraisals and balanced power perceptions between voice and voice hearer. These positive effects seem to be more pronounced in women. The gender of both voice and voice hearer shapes the voice hearing experience in manifold ways. Due to possible favorable effects on clinical outcomes, therapeutic concepts that strengthen instrumental/agentic traits could be a feasible target for psychotherapeutic interventions in voice hearing, especially in women.

Seiten (von - bis)709-720
FachzeitschriftArchives of Women's Mental Health
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Okt. 2021


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