Original Article: PDF OnlySocial Interaction and the Use of Space on a Ward of Long Term Psychiatric PatientsPOLSKY, RICHARD H. Ph.D.1; CHANCE, M R A D.Sc2Author Information 1Laboratory of Human Ethology, Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, 760 West wood Plaza, Los Angeles, California 90024 2Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, Los Angeles and Uffculme Clinic, Ethology Lab, Birmingham, England The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: September 1980 - Volume 168 - Issue 9 - p 550-555 Buy Abstract Naturalistic observations were made on 24 chronic schizophrenic patients in order to determine whether patterns of spatial behavior in a ward setting resembled those reported by Esser et al. for a similar population. Patients were ranked in a social interaction hierarchy. Interactional categories included altruistic, verbal, and assertive behavior, and behavior surrounding the exchange of cigarettes. Patient space use was analyzed on a group and individual basis according to preferences for particular chairs or particular areas of the ward. Groups were formed by dividing the interactional hierarchy into thirds: top, middle, and bottom. Results showed that patients who interacted the most (i.e., top interactors) tended to sit in the areas closest to the front of the ward. Middle interactors preferred the areas furthest from the front, and bottom interactors exhibited no preference for any area. Preferences remained stable over a 1-year period. More patients in this study (100 per cent) than in Esser's study (50 per cent) met the criterion of territoriality, as defined by Esser. These findings are inconsistent with those of Esser et al. Possible sources of discrepancy are discussed © Williams & Wilkins 1980. All Rights Reserved.