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    Epidemic psychological disturbance in a Malawian secondary school: a case study in social change

    MacLachlan, Malcolm and Banda, Dixie Maluwa and McAuliffe, Eilish (1995) Epidemic psychological disturbance in a Malawian secondary school: a case study in social change. Psychology and Developing Societies. ISSN 0971-3336

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    We describe a case of Epidemic Psychological Disturbance (EPD) involving 110 pupils at a Catholic Girls Secondary School in Malawi. The EPD 'syndrome' included 'outward' behaviours (screaming, continuous laughing, crying loudly, falling down and rolling, violently threatening classmates, speaking gibberish) and 'inward' behaviours (refusing to eat, withdrawal, hallucinating, hypersensitivity to noise, and headache at the base of the skull). These problems disappeared when most of the affected pupils were sent home. We consider a number of possible causes for this case of EPD, including physical, psychological, traditional, institutional, and political factors. It is suggested that the present case of EPD can be interpreted as reflecting a defence and protest against certain aspects of the rapid social and political changes which Malawi has witnessed over the past few years.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Epidemic psychological disturbance; Malawian secondary school; case study; social change;
    Academic Unit: Assisting Living & Learning,ALL institute
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 16590
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Malcolm MacLachlan
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2022 13:45
    Journal or Publication Title: Psychology and Developing Societies
    Publisher: SAGE Publications
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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