Asocial beliefs as predictors of asocial behavior in schizophrenia

Paul M. Grant, Aaron T. Beck

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Poor social and vocational outcomes have long been observed in schizophrenia, and therapeutic outcomes have been modest. Most studies have identified neurocognition and emotion perception as important contributors to social functioning. Recent research has suggested that personal beliefs, attitudes, and expectancies contribute to negative symptoms. However, the impact of specific beliefs and expectancies on social withdrawal in schizophrenia has not been examined. The present study explored: 1. whether asocial beliefs made a significant contribution to social functioning after accounting for neurocognitive performance and emotion perception; and, 2. whether asocial beliefs predicted asocial behavior in a longitudinal design. 123 outpatients diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder completed tests of neurocognitive performance, emotion perception, asocial beliefs, symptomatology, and functional outcome. A subset of 13 outpatients was retested one year after the initial assessment. Hierarchical regression indicated that asocial beliefs accounted for 18% of the variability in social functioning. Depression and negative symptoms explained another 9% of the dispersion. Contrary to expectations, neurocognition and emotion perception accounted for less than 1% of the variance. In the longitudinal study, baseline asocial beliefs predicted asocial behavior one year later. Asocial beliefs predict poor social functioning in schizophrenia, and may be modifiable by psychological interventions. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)65-70
    Number of pages5
    JournalPsychiatry Research
    Volume177
    Issue number1-2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2010

    Keywords

    • Beliefs and expectancies
    • Emotion perception
    • Neurocognition
    • Social functioning

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