Development of personal narratives as a mediator of the impact of deficits in social cognition and social withdrawal on negative symptoms in schizophrenia

Paul H. Lysaker*, Molly Erikson, Kathryn R. MacApagal, Chloe Tunze, Emily Gilmore, Jamie M. Ringer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although negative symptoms are a barrier to recovery from schizophrenia, little is understood about the psychological processes that reinforce and sustain them. To explore this issue, this study used structural equation modeling to test whether the impact of social withdrawal and emotion recognition deficits upon negative symptoms is mediated by the richness or poverty of personal narratives. The participants were 99 adults with schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Social cognition was assessed using the Bell-Lysaker Emotional Recognition Task; social withdrawal, using the Quality of Life Scale; narrative coherence, using the Scale To Assess Narrative Development; and negative symptoms, using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. The findings reveal that although social cognition deficits and social withdrawal are significantly associated with negative symptom severity, these relationships become nonsignificant when personal narrative integrity is examined as a mediating factor. These results indicate that the development of personal narratives may be directly linked to the severity of negative symptoms; this construct may be a useful target for future interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-295
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Volume200
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012

Keywords

  • Recovery
  • narrative
  • negative symptoms
  • schizophrenia
  • social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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