Journal Article

Social Anhedonia and Schizotypy in a Community Sample: The Maryland Longitudinal Study of Schizotypy

Jack J. Blanchard, Lindsay M. Collins, Minu Aghevli, Winnie W. Leung and Alex S. Cohen

in Schizophrenia Bulletin

Published on behalf of Maryland Psychiatric Research Center

Volume 37, issue 3, pages 587-602
Published in print May 2011 | ISSN: 0586-7614
Published online October 2009 | e-ISSN: 1745-1701 | DOI:
Social Anhedonia and Schizotypy in a Community Sample: The Maryland Longitudinal Study of Schizotypy

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Social anhedonia has been employed in psychometric high-risk studies to identify putative schizotypes. To date, this research has focused almost exclusively on college samples. The current study sought to examine the validity of social anhedonia as an indicator of risk for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders within a community sample. Furthermore, we evaluated the role of other individual difference variables in accounting for variable clinical severity within the social anhedonia group including trait affectivity, social support, and family environment. Following the mailed questionnaire screening of 2434 eighteen-year olds, laboratory assessments were conducted with individuals identified as being high in social anhedonia (n = 86) and a comparison sample (n = 89). Compared with the control group, individuals in the social anhedonia group were found to have higher rates of mood disorders, elevated schizophrenia-spectrum personality disorder characteristics, greater negative symptom characteristics, and lower global functioning. Individuals within the social anhedonia group also reported greater trait negative affectivity, lower positive affectivity, less social support, and more family conflict. Low social support and problematic family environment were found to be related to elevations in spectrum personality disorder characteristics and poorer functioning within the social anhedonia group. These cross-sectional findings from a community sample provide further support for social anhedonia as a possible indicator of schizotypy.

Keywords: schizotypy; anhedonia; schizophrenia; personality; traits; vulnerability

Journal Article.  9962 words. 

Subjects: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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