Emotional awareness and delusions in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder

Emily D'Antonio, Jennifer Kahn, Jennifer McKelvey, Howard Berenbaum, Mark R. Serper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background and objectives Emotion plays a significant role in schizophrenia. Emotional awareness (i.e., attention to and clarity of emotions) is associated with a wide range of outcomes. Given that individuals with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder differ in the significance of their mood symptoms, the present research examined whether the association between emotional awareness and delusions differs for these two groups of patients. Methods Emotional awareness (i.e., attention to and clarity of emotions) was measured with self-report in a sample of 44 individuals diagnosed with either schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Clinical ratings of delusions were made using the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms. Results For the sample as a whole, individuals with higher levels of attention to emotion tended to have more severe delusions. In addition, diagnostic group significantly moderated the relation between emotional clarity and delusions. Limitations Conclusions regarding causality cannot be drawn due to the cross-sectional design. Replication is particularly important given the small sample sizes. Conclusions The present research indicates that emotional awareness is associated with delusions. The results raise the possibility that the emotional factors that contribute to delusional beliefs among individuals with schizophrenia differ in at least some ways from the emotional factors that contribute to delusional beliefs among individuals with schizoaffective disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalComprehensive Psychiatry
Volume57
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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